What time is it? It’s summertime! It’s the season to enjoy sunny poolside days and warm nights under the stars. Summer is known for spontaneous adventures, relaxation, and most importantly, unconditional smiles that you want to capture forever! Along with showing your smile off! Another staple of summer is delicious foods, snacks, and drinks. Summer diets can make your taste buds happy but it may cause harm to your teeth.
We hear it all year long, soda is bad for us! But with the warmer weather and vacations, it may be your go-to drink. Have a look at the nutrition facts before quenching your thirst!
Drinks to be aware of:
- Sport Drinks
- Fruit Juices
Soda contains enamel-destroying acid and contains plenty of unwanted sugars. Because of the summer heat, you might want to grab a sports drink to replenish any lost minerals from sweating. It’s been proven that sports drinks contain high levels of sugars and acids which can lead to cavities. Fruits contain natural sugars and often times store bought juices have additional sugar added, resulting in damaged teeth.
The acid in these drinks exposes your teeth to more bacteria, which attracts the sugars in your favorite drinks! This bacteria sneaks into the cracks of your tooth enamel and causes tooth decay.
Foods to be aware of:
- Ice Cream
- Corn on the cob
- Barbecue Sauce
Warm days call for cold cravings, but popsicles, freezes, and ice cream can actually harm your smile! They are loaded with sugars and are in constant contact with your teeth. Sugar sticks to your teeth and gums to create bacteria that attack your enamel. Did you know? A single cup of vanilla ice cream has five teaspoons of sugar!
Are you looking forward to enjoying a sweet corn on the cob? Eat it with caution, as they’re known to knock loose fillings and even chip teeth! Kernels can also get stuck in between your teeth and if not properly maintained causes plaque build-up.
Did you know barbecue sauce is high in sugar and acid? Just like it sticks to meat, it also clings to your teeth. The main ingredients are vinegar and ketchup, which are loaded with acid. Because barbecue sauce is a dark color, it can also stain your teeth.
This doesn’t mean to avoid these foods and drinks completely! Just keep in mind moderation is key!
- Sipping sugary drinks with a straw reduces the contact of the liquid with your teeth.
- Brushing your teeth immediately after drinking a soft drink, can damage your enamel.
- Make homemade fruit juices without adding additional sugar!
- Cut your corn off the cob.
- Don’t use your teeth open plastics or anything, they are for food only!
- Water is the best source for staying hydrated.
Healthy Snacks for Your Smile
Are you wondering what snacks are good for your teeth? Instead of a bag of potato chips, go for the fruit platters! Apples, pears, peaches, or seedless watermelon for a refreshing choice! Veggie trays are also a good snack, raw broccoli, celery, and carrots. These can be seen as a natural toothbrush, scrubbing off any plaque build-up and stimulating saliva to clear your mouth of unwanted particles.
1, 2, 3 say cheese!
Dairy products contain low sugar and are rich in calcium and phosphorous which strengthens and protects your enamel. The more dairy you eat it can lower your chances of developing gum disease!
If you are hosting any gatherings this summer, you can serve seedless buns and keep dental floss picks handy! You may also want to offer sugar-free gum rather than mints. Chewing gum gets your saliva flowing and fights acids from cavity-causing bacteria that eat away at teeth.
Because of the wide range of food and drinks you’ll be consuming this summer, maintaining proper care is important. You wouldn’t want anything to ruin your summer fun! Have a great summer, and keep smiling.
Dr. Dhariwal, DDS
2370 Maritime Dr.
Elk Grove, CA 95758