Summer is the time for fun gatherings for any and every occasion—the 4th of July, family BBQs, or just a Saturday! With all the party snacking that will be happening, here are some great alternatives to foods that aren’t great for your teeth.
These, of course, are standard at any party, but that doesn’t make them idea. Chewed-up chips settle so easily into the gaps and dips in your teeth, giving cavity-causing bacteria the perfect chance to eat away at your teeth.
Instead, opt for a fruit or vegetable tray! For fruits, reach for foods like apples and pears. For vegetables, try carrots, celery, and raw broccoli, aka natural toothbrushes! You’ll still get a satisfying crunch, and your teeth will thank you. Pair your tray with some delicious dips, and you can munch on them all day long.
Despite the previous suggestion, food that’s good for you teeth isn’t always super healthy otherwise! Cheese not only makes your backyard burgers taste better, but it’s actually great for your teeth. Dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cheese are low in sugar and rich in calcium and phosphorous—a dream for dental health. These nutrients strengthen and protect your enamel, and eating more dairy can even lower your chances of developing gum disease!
If you’re serving something like corn on the cob or pulled pork, odds are you and your guests will want something to clean your teeth with afterward. A toothpick, however, is not the answer. They’re too sharp and can easily poke and scrape your gums, giving bacteria the perfect opportunity to get in. No one wants a mouth splinter, either! Instead, leave some soft, flexible dental picks or plaque removers around.
Speaking of things stuck in your teeth, you might as well avoid seeds altogether. This will significantly cut down on your guests picking at their gums! Opt for hamburger or hotdog buns without sesame or poppy seeds, and use crunchy fruits in your fruit salad instead of fruits with lots of seeds. Buy seedless watermelons, too!
A lot of people have developed the bad habit of chewing ice. This seemingly harmless habit can leave your teeth extremely vulnerable to dental emergencies, like a chipped or cracked tooth, not to mention it can cause teeth grinding at night. Put your canned or bottled drinks in a tub of ice, so guests don’t need any in their drinks. This will help their teeth, plus no one’s drinks will get watered down in the summer heat!
Infuse Your Water
Soda and sports drinks are not ideal for your teeth. The sugar and acidity in them eats away at your teeth and causes dry mouth, which results in bad breath and other issues. Water is the best thing for you, your body, and your mouth. So serve some at your party, but give it a summery twist! Go easy on the citrus fruits—the acidity in those can also do damage to your teeth—but add different fruits to your water to add some flavor. Bonus: It’ll look beautiful in your pitcher!
Most people like to freshen their breath after a meal, especially if they’ll be hanging out for a while afterward. Swap out the traditional bowl of mints, and offer your guests sugar-free gum instead! Chewing sugarless gum after a meal significantly decreases tooth decay while stimulating saliva production—this helps flush away all the bits of food leftover after eating.
Whatever you’re up to this summer, don’t let your oral hygiene suffer! For more tips, tricks, and advice on all things dental, contact LeCroy Dental today.