The summer months generally mean lots of cookouts, outdoor parties, and comfort food on the grill for many people. However, nice weather should not be a reason to disregard your oral health. This summer, try to stay on the lookout for common foods that may cause damage to your teeth. Consider adding a few new additions to your summer menus that can actually improve enamel quality and protect your teeth!
Citrus Fruits: Full of Vitamins, but Acidic
Citrus fruits like lemons, oranges, and limes are packed with vitamin C and other essential nutrients, but they are also highly acidic. These fruits have many good qualities. But too much citric acid buildup and fruit residue on the teeth and gums can quickly erode tooth enamel. Make sure to brush, floss, and swish with mouthwash after all meals and especially after one containing highly acidic foods.
Cheeses: Calcium and Minerals for Healthy Teeth and Bones
If you’re grilling burgers with friends and family, be sure to add a slice or two of your favorite type of cheese. Buy good quality cheese. Stay away from single-serve “cheese products.” They rarely contain the same level of nutrients as real cheese and many contain unhealthy artificial ingredients. Milk, yogurt, cheese, and even ice cream made with natural ingredients can all be fantastic sources of calcium, and other minerals that help preserve tooth enamel.
Skip the Soda, Try Infused Water Beverages Instead for Better Oral Health
Soda is one of the worst beverages when it comes to oral health. Sodas contain very high volumes of sugar and carbonation. Soda wreaks havoc on tooth enamel and fosters oral bacterial growth. If you are thinking about beverages to serve at your next summer event, consider swapping soda for infused water. You can find many easy recipes online. Add fresh slices of your favorite fruits to make delicious and refreshing drinks that are perfect for enjoying a meal outside in the summer weather.
Too Much Vinegar Erodes Tooth Enamel
Pickles are a staple of the American cheeseburger and a favorite at cookouts all over the country, but the vinegar used to make pickles is tough on your teeth. According to a UK study of the eating habits of British teenagers, eating pickles more than once per day can increase the odds of tooth wear by about 85%. Of course, everything should be done in moderation and eating a few pickles is fine. Just remember to brush or rinse afterward.
These are just a few suggestions to consider so you and your loved ones can make better eating choices this summer. Taking time to make a few alterations to your typical menu can be fun and rewarding, helping you and your family preserve the health of your teeth while enjoying the summer to the fullest. If you have questions about your diet and how it may be impacting the health of your teeth, contact us today.