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Most Common Hard Foods that Can Chip Teeth


Your teeth are protected by the hardest substance in your body, called enamel. It’s extremely durable, withstanding the pressure of daily biting and chewing. Although enamel is strong, it’s not indestructible. Certain foods that can chip teeth. The damage may not be apparent right away, but you can end up needing an emergency dentist down the road. Here’s the list of foods that are most likely to break your teeth.

Consequences of Hard Foods

You’ve likely heard you shouldn’t eat certain foods often because they can crack a tooth. Many people ignore this advice because they’ve gotten away with chomping on ice or other hard foods without having any previous issues. However, your dentist can spot signs of a problem long before you suffer a significant break.

Generally, damage from hard foods occurs gradually. Small cracks begin to form across the tooth. Although you may not see them, the tiny fractures can spread, known as cracked tooth syndrome. One bite can cause your tooth to split or chip. Now, you have a dental emergency on your hands. You’ll need to see a dentist right away or risk losing your tooth.

You can avoid a dental emergency by watching what you eat. Your dentist recommends skipping common foods known to break teeth, including:

  • Ice
  • Popcorn Kernels
  • Nuts and Seeds
  • Fruit with Pits
  • Hard Bread
  • Beef Jerky

Besides limiting hard foods, routine preventive appointments can prevent a dental emergency from interrupting your day. Most dental emergencies result from an untreated oral health issue, like cracked tooth syndrome. 

Your dentist can monitor your smile by scheduling a cleaning and checkup every 6 months. They can spot the smallest of cracks to stop them from spreading to preserve your smile. Your dentist will recommend eating hard foods in moderation and with caution. If you can’t resist chewing on ice, choose shaved ice or drink with a lid on your cup to reduce the temptation.

Handling a Chipped Tooth

Even with the best prevention, one wrong bite can break a tooth. If you find yourself in this situation, don’t panic! Here are the tips you need to save your tooth:

  1. Rinse your mouth with water and assess the damage.
  2. Call your emergency dentist and explain the situation. 
  3. Take an over-the-counter pain reliever to manage any discomfort.
  4. Avoid chewing with the tooth until after it has been repaired.
  5. Eat softer foods.
  6. Continue your oral hygiene routine.

Your dentist will examine your tooth to create a personalized plan to rehabilitate it, like bonding or a dental crown.

You can avoid a costly dental bill by moderating how often you eat hard foods. A little precaution can save you from a big problem later.

About Dr. Gery P. Benza

Dr. Benza earned his dental degree from the Case Western Reserve University School of Dentistry. Throughout his 30-year career, he has regularly pursued continuing education to provide modern services. If you broke a tooth or have another dental emergency, contact our office today to schedule an appointment.



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