Our great state of Illinois is known for some truly delicious foods, including the Chicago-style hot dog and, of course, that delicious deep-dish pizza. But what you might not realize is that some of our state’s tastiest foods are also some of the most harmful Illinois foods to our teeth! We’ve picked three of what we believe to be the most potentially dangerous to your oral health, along with some tips to protect your teeth.
Chicago-Style Deep-Dish Pizza
It doesn’t get any better than a nice, thick slice of Chicago-style deep-dish pizza. But that tomato-based pizza sauce you’ll find piled on high can be harmful to your teeth! Specifically, tomato or pizza sauce is high in acidity, so it can wear away the protective enamel of your teeth and make them more prone to decay. The best way to protect yourself? Consider ordering your pizza with a non-tomato sauce, such as an alfredo. Or, if you must have that tomato sauce, be sure to wash it down with water and brush your teeth shortly after your meal.
Corn (On and Off the Cob)
More rural areas of Illinois are filled with rows upon rows of corn, so it’s not surprising that our state consumes a lot of fresh corn on an annual basis. However, corn – both on and off the cob – poses some potential dangers for your teeth and gums. Specifically, corn can easily get stuck in between the teeth and underneath the gum line. If not removed, this food debris can lead to cavities and even gum disease, such as gingivitis or periodontal disease.
The good news is that you can protect your teeth by simply brushing and flossing after enjoying corn!
Popcorn (Especially “Chicago-Style”)
Speaking of corn, did you know that popcorn is Illinois’ official state snack? Be careful, though. Popcorn also runs the risk of getting stuck in between the teeth and under the gum line. Plus, popular “Chicago-style” popcorn that’s glazed with a mixture of butter and caramel contains high amounts of sugar that can make you more prone to decay. Protect your teeth by flossing and brushing thoroughly after snacking!
By no means do you need to stop enjoying these popular Illinois foods, but you should take some extra precautions for your oral health! Also, be sure to contact our office to schedule your routine exam and cleaning if you haven’t done so already!