Summertime is the season to slack off, sit back, and relax… but that same philosophy shouldn’t dictate your dental habits. With all the tempting (and sugary!) treats on offer, it’s best for your optimal oral hygiene to keep a mental list of these healthier alternatives.
Sure, we can’t help indulging in the occasional summertime splurge (just ask Nancy about her ice cream truck), but we strive to stick by these safer snack selections instead.
It helps to be selective when it comes to summertime fruits and vegetables. Even healthy favorites like raspberries, strawberries and blackberries come with seeds that are quick to get caught between your teeth. Once there, they can breed bacteria that break down your tooth enamel, causing inflammation along the gum line and even disease like gingivitis over time. Opting for seedless fruit varieties like watermelon is a safer choice.
Skip the Ice
There’s nothing quite as refreshing as an icy beverage on a sweltering summer day. The trouble is ice, specifically crunching on ice, can cause damage to your teeth. If you must have ice, opt for crushed over cubed and avoid chomping down on either so you don’t risk a chipped or broken tooth.
Say “No” to Soda
It’s no secret that sodas are loaded with sugar. And we all know that sugar, left to its own devices, will quickly turn into enamel-eroding bacteria in your mouth. An occasional soda is fine, provided it is quickly followed by a thorough brush, floss, and rinse session. A better choice, for your teeth and body, is always water — especially during the hot summer months when hydration is critical.
Pass on Potato Chips
We know! Sometimes a salty snack is just the thing on a summer afternoon. The trick is selecting the right source of salt. The starch in potato chips quickly settles between your teeth and, unless flossed free, will breed bacteria that can damage your teeth and gum line over time. The good news is you don’t have to skip the salt if you’re having a craving. Choose less starchy crackers or pretzels instead, but still make sure you brush and floss after snacking.
Dive into Dairy
Dairy-based snacks, such as yogurt and cheese, along with beverages like milk are low in sugar and rich in teeth-building nutrients like calcium and phosphorus. Whether a milk or yogurt based smoothie or a slice of cheese on top of a burger, dairy options are ideal for oral health and hygiene.
Feast on Fruits and Veggies
We’ve already stipulated that seedless is the smartest way to go when it comes to fruits and veggies. Filling up on celery, carrots, cauliflower and broccoli (also referred to as crudités) is like feasting on all-natural, edible toothbrushes. Fiber-rich fruits like pears and apples also make good choices.
Despite the ongoing changes to our daily lives due to this persistent pandemic, we hope you and your families are making the most of the summer season. Contact our office when you’re ready to book your next appointment!