Tooth Talk with Brinkley Dental Group – Crudites and your Teeth

Crudites, pronounced “Crew de tay” for those who might be unfamiliar with the term, refers to raw vegetables assembled on a platter as hors d’oeuvres and usually served with dip. They are pretty much a party staple – so much so that you can even shop for premade versions at your local grocery store. But today, we’re asking when is it actually ok to crunch down on a carrot or take a chomp out of celery stick? If you’re tempted to say “anytime” you might be wrong. Depending on the state of your teeth, mouth and gums, there could in fact be a right way and wrong way, and a good time or a bad time, to indulge in a tray of crudités. Here’s more on why:

  • Fresh, raw vegetables are by nature, crunchy. Crunchy means hard and hard can be “hard” on your teeth.
  • If you have sensitive teeth, the pressure required and the (typically) cold and hard consistency of raw vegetables can be uncomfortable and make the experience of “eating healthy” an unpleasant one.
  • If you wear orthodontics, biting into fresh hard fruits and vegetables is not only difficult but could be dangerous – you could damage your dental appliance and/or cause an injury to your teeth, mouth or gums. If this is an issue for you, consider cutting up your apple before you eat it and taking smaller bites of those veggies.
  • Fresh vegetables may cause chipped or broken teeth, particularly if you already have a sensitive mouth or perhaps a previously undiagnosed cavity.  If this happens, rinse with warm water and apply gauze to the area immediately. If the tooth has a sharp, jagged edge, you might consider chewing gum as a temporary fixative until you can see a Dentist. You can use ice for any swelling and take a painkiller if necessary. If possible, put the broken tooth in milk to preserve it for possible replacement – while rare, it can sometimes be done.

Of course, the flipside of the dangers of eating raw, fresh veggies is just how good they are for you! By no means would the team at Brinkley ever suggest your curtail eating crudités. That would just be wrong! In fact, a nice crunchy apple or carrot is sometimes “just the ticket” for helping clean your teeth and mouth between meals and/or when you don’t have access to a toothbrush and toothpaste. In fact, some theorize that crunching down on a carrot, apple or cucumber actually helps to disrupt dental plaque, thereby helping to prevent build up. They can even help generate more saliva and we know this is beneficial for aiding the mouth in rinsing out unwanted build up and bacteria.

The next time you’re at a party, and if you’re feeling good about your oral health – go ahead and take a carrot stick or two and maybe even indulge in the dip. Chances are, all the healthy benefits from eating fresh, raw fruit and veggies will outweigh any of the potential risks. And while we’re at it – don’t just eat crudités at a party either! Make them a part of your every day diet for the good of your whole body, not just your teeth. If you do, you’ll feel like you’re ready for that next party invitation. Oh and as always, “don’t forget to be a BFF  with your mouth and Brush that SMILE!”