Most Common Foods That Can Lead to a Broken Tooth

by Dr. Diane Hourigan

For the most part, people visit their dentists when they need a routine cleaning or to get a cavity filled, but emergency dentist services exist at the offices of Dr. Diane Hourigan because sometimes people incur unexpected damage to their teeth that requires immediate attention. While there are a number of ways that someone can chip or crack their teeth, we find there are a surprising number of patients who find themselves in trouble simply because of something they ate.

It's hard to think of certain foods as “dangerous,” but it is true that some foods are much more likely to crack or chip a tooth than others. The following are some of the more common foods responsible for causing damage to teeth:


While candy is bad for teeth anyway because of its high sugar content, hard or frozen candy can be a problem in a different way if you bite into a morsel that is especially tough. Jawbreakers, butterscotch discs, rock candy, and Jolly Ranchers are the types of candies that can do the most damage, so take your time eating them so you don’t damage your teeth.


While popcorn itself is fluffy and soft, it’s hard to know when those hidden unpopped kernels lie beneath the pillowy exteriors of the treat. If you hit a seed, it can crack or chip a tooth.

Crunchy Produce

Not all raw vegetables require a hard chomp from teeth, but certain culprits like carrots and apples have been known to cause some problems. They are hard enough where, if bitten into at just the right angle, they can chip a tooth.

Ice Cubes

Plenty of people enjoy chewing on ice cubes, but as it literally is frozen water, doing so can cause massive problems for teeth. Sucking on an ice cube is a fine way to enjoy the guilt-free coldness, so avoid chewing down on them if you can.


Almonds are maybe the worst culprit, but all nuts can be hard to chew and therefore tough on teeth.

Bone-In Meat

While the meat itself is not the problem in foods like ribs or chicken wings, many people get a little too excited and chew right through the meat to the bone. Should your teeth hit that bone with reckless abandon, it could chip or crack a tooth fairly easily.

Fruit with Pits

The same problem exists for fruit with pits, such as peaches or plums. Once you get past the soft fruit, the rock-solid pit in the middle can cause some serious issues.

Schedule an Appointment

If you should ever end up with a damaged tooth that requires emergency dental care, please call the office of Dr. Diane Hourigan, and we’ll work to get you in as soon as possible to repair the damage. As a respected general dentist, she has a lot of experience making these types of repairs, but remember to tread carefully when eating these foods anyway, just in case!