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Why Spinach Makes Your Teeth Gritty

Burning Question: Why Does Spinach Make Your Teeth Gritty?

Not too long ago, I enjoyed my favorite steakhouse side, creamed spinach, with a reliable hunk of aged meat at the House of Prime Rib. I hadn't had the dish in a while, and when I took my first bite I instantly remembered what it felt like to have "spinach teeth" — a gritty, uncomfortable sensation that one experiences after eating spinach. Why, I wondered, does spinach leave your teeth feeling rough?For starters, spinach grows best in sandy soil, so the grittiness may very well come from actual sand if it's not been thoroughly washed. But on top of this, the plant's leaves contain a high amount of oxalic acid crystals, which spread onto the teeth during the chewing process, resulting in a chalky sensation in the mouth. Spinach teeth may be enhanced when the vegetable is eaten with iron-rich substances like milk, which explains why the phenomenon is so detectable with creamed spinach.

Got a burning question? Join the Burning Question group in the YumSugar Community! It's your place to post the most pressing questions about the culinary world.

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Join The Conversation
Beth2445002 Beth2445002 3 years
Though I've never experienced the grittiness I do believe the question asked to be a "most pressing question about the culinary world" indeed.  Thanks for the plant biology trivia 10101.  Really interesting information.  Could be used in a trivia board game question.  
Mandi-Villa Mandi-Villa 4 years
Were you reading my mind? I had steamed spinach for dinner last night and couldn't get the grit off my teeth!
amber512 amber512 4 years
I have never experienced this either, strange!
fuzzles fuzzles 4 years
I've never noticed either, and I looooooooves me some creamed spinach!
Susannah-Chen Susannah-Chen 4 years
KeLynns, I get it all the time. It drives me nuts!
KeLynns KeLynns 4 years
I am fascinated. I've never experienced this at all.
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