Wild Game Dinners Can Pose Danger to Your Teeth

Cosmetic_DentistWild game is a delicacy any time of year, but during the holidays, it is often a matter of pride to serve bird or other wild game that the host hunted.  “While most hunters are careful to take the pellets out of birds, a few can wind up on your plate,” says Dr. Carol Ford, from her Phoenix cosmetic dentistry office. “And there is a possibility you will bite down on a piece of birdshot,” she adds.

But birdshot doesn’t have to break your teeth. There are several stages of preparation in getting the bird from field to table, with safety checks along the way.

The hunter who plucks the birds’ feathers will remove visible pellets with tweezers or forceps. The next stage, the cooking stage, gives the chef a chance to inspect the meat for pellets. At the table, the chef or host slices the meat, making sure each slice is thin enough to detect a piece of shot.

Once the meat is on your plate, you can cut it into small pieces and take a careful look before covering the bird with gravy.

There are also easy-to-use devices used by hunters and the chefs who prepare game birds. If the shot is steel, common stud detectors will find pellets. A magnet will be attracted to the pellets, and wrapping a magnet in plastic wrap makes it easy to pass over the meat before it is cooked.

But the safest thing for your teeth and your enjoyment of wild game meals, take a close look at the meat, cut it into small pieces and chew carefully until you are sure there isn’t birdshot in the meat.

Holiday meals are special because they don’t happen every day. Chewing slowly is a good practice, and a safer one on special occasions.

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