Good news for flossing slackers: your lack of effort may be paying off.
The Associated Press reported Monday that there is little scientific proof that flossing has any medical benefit. The federal government recommends flossing in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans which, according to the AP, “must be based on scientific evidence, under the law.” However, the AP was unable to confirm any scientific proof to back up the claim that flossing has a health benefit.
Now that you don’t have to worry about flossing, here are 12 foods that get annoyingly stuck in your teeth that you don’t have to worry about anymore.
Popcorn is the default movie snack for most Americans. It’s also probably the worst offender on this list for getting stuck in our teeth. According to popcorn.org, Americans ate 41 quarts each in 2015. That’s a lot of chances for kernels to get stuck in seemingly impossible places in our mouths. Before, you could rely on a dark movie theater, but now you don’t have to care about those kernels between your teeth at all.
There you are, noshing away at some chicken wings when it happens. One stupid strand of thin chicken meat lodges itself between your front teeth. How did you get to this point in your life? Where do you go next? All of these questions and more could be answered with simple flossing, but we’re in a brave new world and you decide to let it fly.
I won’t get involved in the argument about which flavor of Doritos is better (it’s clearly Cool Ranch, by the way), but we can all agree that it’s a bear to get those tasty triangles stuck between our teeth. In a world without flossing, you can let those cool ranch flavors chill out and not feel guilty. Woe be unto the soul who loves Doritos Flamas and gets a chip stuck.
I love spinach. I regularly eat a few bowls in a sitting as an entire meal. Empirically speaking, spinach will find every single gap in your teeth and stick there. This is arguably the most embarrassing food to get in stuck in your teeth because that bright green is real obvious against white teeth. But in a floss-less world it screams, “I’m strong to the finish, ’cause I eats me spinach.”
The stickiest of items on this list, toffee and its ilk seem to derive pleasure from squeezing into every crack and crevasse in our mouths and gumming up the whole works. It only takes one piece of the delicious candy to set off the chain reaction, too, because you’re almost guaranteed to get about half of it stuck in your back teeth. But you’re a floss-less adventurer now, which may just be the best thing since, well…
Probably the second stickiest item on this list, it might be the most frustrating because we’re all likely to encounter it on a day-to-day basis. When combined with a bit of mayonnaise, this sucker will even stick to the roof of your mouth and give your tongue a workout. The texture of the bread is such that you won’t even notice it getting stuck in your teeth. Now you can throw caution to the wind and ignore it even further.
Apples are an awesome fruit because they don’t really require an additional work to enjoy them beyond picking ’em off of a tree (or out of the bin at the store), giving ’em a quick rinse and having at it. But what a double-edged sword it is; those same sweet and delicious fruits have a dark side. Every part of an apple is actively trying to get itself stuck in your teeth. Maybe because it’s biologically designed in a way that it happens by pure chance, or maybe fairy tales have it right and it’s witchcraft. We may never know.
It can’t be helped. If you’re eating a piece of steak, regardless of the cut, some of that juicy meat is going to find its way into the small gap in your front teeth. There you are, in the middle of a nice steakhouse, with no access to floss. Chew easy, friend, and don’t reach for that steak knife to dig into that gap because that steak isn’t going anywhere. Don’t have a cow, because it’s not really hurting you.
CORN ON THE COB
Oh, the great summer offender. I helped grow and sell sweet corn on the family farm from the time I was three until I was 26, and of course I still enjoy eating it. My entire life has been a battle against corn kernels and silk. But I have a new weapon in my arsenal, now. Not caring. A day may come when the courage of men fails against sweet corn, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship. But it is not this day.
Really, all candy bars. But Snickers has a triple whammy of peanuts, chocolate and caramel, all three of which are invariably going to get stuck. And you can’t just eat one “fun size” Snickers bar, either. Each bite leads to another, and another, until there’s nothing left in the bag. Snicker if you will, but those fun size pieces may taste even better now that you don’t have to feel guilty about not carrying floss with you if you make an impulse buy at the gas station.
Broccoli may be a super food, and it may be delicious, but those florets get everywhere in your mouth. It doesn’t take long for your mouth to start looking like a broccoli garden, with florets poking out every which way. But now you can let that garden grow and not feel bad. Grow on, little broccoli.
I’m saying peanuts, but this applies to most nuts. If you exclusively eat shelled peanuts, then you only know half of the struggle. It’s enough of an issue getting a bit of peanut stuck in your teeth, but having the dark brown peanut skin all up in your grill is just the worst. But those skins are high in bioactives, so let it hang out for awhile until you need an antioxidant boost.