With graduation parties, neighborhood barbecues, weddings, road trips, bonfires, parades, and all the festivities that come with the summer months, your teeth may be in for a doozy. However, you don’t have to wreak havoc on those pearly whites when you have worked so hard to keep healthy.
Here are 9 foods to avoid this summer (and into fall and winter) to protect your teeth:
- Sugary Foods: Sugar is the number one enemy of teeth. The bonfire s’mores, 4 th of July Parade candy, and popsicles you associate with summer can really take a toll. Foods with added sugar produce acids that weaken the enamel and forms plaque over teeth which eventually lead to cavities. To combat the effects of sweet food, limit your intake of sugary foods and chew sugarless gum to increase saliva production.
Suggested Reading: 6 Things You Ought To Know About Cavities
- Sticky Foods: Salt Water Taffee, sugary bubble gum, sticky dry fruits, and anything made with corn syrup or molasses sticks to teeth. The problem with sticky foods is that they leave particles hanging in between teeth for longer than most other foods, and longer than your teeth can handle without beginning the decay process. Even brushing doesn’t always take the sticky residue away.To avoid the problems caused by these foods, choose candy instead that is not sticky or chewy. Avoid sticky foods in snacks and treats. If you can’t stay away, limit the frequency of eating such foods. Follow up by brushing and flossing after eating any sticky food to entirely remove the residual particles from your mouth, and rinse your mouth with water frequently.
- 3. Ice. Chewing on ice doesn’t just annoy people, it can also damage the delicate shell of the tooth called the enamel. Chewing ice harms your teeth, damaging your enamel and even causing dental emergencies in some cases. Keep ice in the crushed form for cooling your drinks and avoid crunching on it with your teeth. Dr. Crozier , a Platinum Dental Care dentist in Layton , tells his ice-chewers to avoid the hard stuff and opt for pebble ice whenever possible.
4. Citrus Foods. Refreshing in the summer months as a glass of lemonade may be, the acid content in citrus foods, fruit juice, and red wine can erode tooth enamel, which leads to teeth decay and cavities. Opt for gentler fruits–apples and strawberries are actually really good for your teeth. If you can’t avoid acidic foods and drinks, drink water frequently and rinse your mouth. Chewing sugarless gum can also help to neutralize the acidic build-up in the mouth.
5. Soda. Caffeine, sugar and, artificial flavorings cause problems for natural teeth. Carbonated beverages, sodas and soft drinks such as diet soda are highly acidic and lead to the formation of plaque and damage enamel. Caffeinated drinks can also cause dry mouth, meaning they limit the saliva flow which helps wash out bacteria and acids in the mouth. Choose water over soda when possible to protect your teeth.
Suggested Reading: 3 Ways Drinking Water Saves Your Teeth
- Crunchy Foods . Nuts, chips and other crunchy snacks perfect for summer parties, especially those with salt, can be especially abrasive to the surface of your teeth. Scratching tooth enamel and getting stuck between teeth long after brushing, crunch foods require you to take special care in brushing and flossing afterwards to remove all stuck particles.
- Alcohol . Summer country concerts may demand it, but alcohol is not good for your oral health. The ingredients and added sugars in alcoholic drinks not only damage teeth, but also cause mouth sores, dry mouth, dehydration, and can lead to oral cancer. Limit excess alcohol consumption to avoid tooth decay, gum diseases and oral cancer.
- Sports Drinks/Energy Drinks. Full of sugar and often acidic, sports drinks can ruin your teeth and cause havoc within your digestive system (especially energy drinks). Avoid these drinks unless you are participating in excessive physical workouts. Choose water over sports drinks or energy drinks whenever possible.
- Fatty Foods. The fats in food often cling to teeth long after they are brushed, providing a perfect atmosphere for bacteria to grow. Additionally, high fat foods often have a low nutritional value that leaves you susceptible to tooth decay and gum disease. You don’t have to avoid fatty foods altogether, but be sure to balance your food with foods rich in vitamins and minerals.
If you consume any of these foods this summer, these tips will help keep your mouth healthy:
- Drink lots fluoridated water , flushing your mouth after eating especially
- Brush teeth with fluoridated toothpaste
- Floss daily
- Incorporate vegetables and fruits high in fiber in your diet
- Include rich source of calcium and phosphates– cheese, yogurt and, dairy products in the snacks and treats
- Get regular dental checkup for professional fluoride treatments
Follow these tips and avoid unhealthy foods this summer to enjoy a healthy and happy season with your loved ones. At Platinum Dental Center, we strive to bring the best information for your oral health concerns. We work to make your smile everlasting. Contact us to know more about our dental services & procedures or give us a call at 801.331.8545 to schedule an appointment or consultation today.
Dr. David Johnson is a doctor at Platinum Dental Care and is a leading dentist in Riverton, Utah . Dr. Johnson is an expert in pediatric and cosmetic dentistry, is Invisalign certified and has gained a reputation of excellence in the dentistry community.