On Halloween night, I sat at home having wine with two of my best friends. No trick-or-treaters ever come through our neighborhood, thanks to its close proximity to the county jail, so we were set for a quiet evening of drinking and cheese-bingeing. Until one friend pulled out the Halloween candy.
Milk Duds sat atop the pile, beckoning in their tiny yellow box. I hadn't had a Milk Dud in years, but remembered the caramel inside the chocolate coating to be terribly sticky and dense. Yet I couldn't stop myself. I opened the box, and uttered these fateful words as I popped one single Milk Dud in my mouth: "I really shouldn't. These always get stuck in my fillings."
Two chews later, the Milk Dud had ripped off a crown and taken half the tooth with it. Two days later, my dentist informed me the tooth would have to come out -- as would the molar above it -- requiring significant, expensive dental work. That bastard Milk Dud has now trumped Beluga caviar as the most expensive single bite of food I've ever consumed.
Here are five other foods to avoid if you don't want to mangle your mouth or you don't want costly dental work adding an unexpected tariff to your bill.
5. Sour Patch Kids
Sour Patch Kids aren't going to immediately damage your teeth, but the combination of acidic sour coating and sugar will wear down your enamel over time. The real danger is eating a whole box while watching Men In Black as a 16-year-old and realizing that the sour crystals have completely burned all the flesh off the inside of your cheeks, leaving painful blisters for days.
4. Milk Duds / Tootsie Rolls
Basically any candy that's super sticky is a super huge problem. Not only does the caramel tend to get stuck between teeth (making it really hard to remove, even with flossing) -- you're far more likely to pull out a filling or worse while munching through a handful.
3. Tortilla chips / popcorn
Tortilla chips -- especially the thin ones -- have the most frustrating ability to act completely cool and lull you into a false sense of security as you work your way through a bowl of salsa. And then, out of nowhere, one single chip will freak out on you mid-bite and tear open the roof of your mouth like it's out for blood. But that's not all: Popcorn and tortilla chips both have a tendency to lodge annoyingly tough little slivers of themselves between your gum and your tooth. The end result can be a disgusting abscess that requires a round of antibiotics. (Let's not even get started on what happens when you bite down hard on an unpopped kernel...)
2. Jordan almonds
Why on God's green earth do people still give these out at weddings and baby showers when there are literally hundreds of other more edible, more attractive, more updated and less painful alternatives? Jordan almonds are nothing more than bland, unsalted almonds coated in a candy shell that is so tough and so remarkably void of any resemblance to actual food that I don't even think it's meant to be consumed. The shell seems as though it was engineered specifically to crack molars.
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There is no other food easier to crack a tooth on than Runts. I can name five people off the top of my head who have cracked their teeth on Runts -- most of them adults (which is one reason I don't feel so bad to have pulled out a crown with a Milk Dud). Runts should not exist. If you suck on them long enough for the hard candy shell to go away, your mouth is coated in a fine powder that feels like inhaling powdered sheetrock. If you try to bite down on them any sooner, they crack your tooth faster than a punch to the jaw. Runts can go straight to hell and take Milk Duds with them.