The texture of food is a significant factor in how a person’s diet affect their teeth. While soup serves as the obvious way of easing the stress one puts onto their teeth, it would not take long before a person craves for something to bite, and there is food more satisfying than the audible kind. Crunchiness is more than just the most gratifying texture of food, for teeth it can sometimes also be the most beneficial.
The Silent Help
According to dentists from Harley Street Dental Clinic, crunchy foods benefit dental health in two ways: they scrape away plaque and bacteria while stimulating the production of saliva. The latter is important because saliva serves as the mouth’s primary defence against tooth decay and gum disease. Besides aiding in digestion and keeping the oral cavity functional and comfortable, saliva also contains proteins and minerals that help maintain clean and healthy teeth.
Of course, different types of crunchy food are not equally beneficial. For instance, snack foods such as chips, pretzels, and crackers tend to do more harm than good. Mild chewing and some saliva are all it takes to convert these foods into soft and sticky mush, lodging between the teeth and gums along with the microbes they supposedly scraped off.
The Big Problem
Another frequent offender is popcorn. While people are typically able to dislodge corn hulls enough effort, other pieces find their way beneath the gum line and out of any floss or pick’s reach.
Left alone, the popcorn hull significantly increases the risk of tooth decay, if not outright leading to an abscess. Many people have stopped eating popcorn for this very reason, in fear of lodged pieces and avoidance of an impromptu visit to the dentist.
Fruits and vegetables may be the only types of crunchy food that fully benefits dental health. But, no one should discourage you from partaking in a healthy amount of the less helpful stuff, as long as you remember to dislodge the chips, corn and crackers in between your teeth.