Summer foods and your dental health

There are some foods and drinks that are just part of summer. Popsicles. Frozen fruity beverages. Grilled foods with all of the fixings (pickles, lettuce, tomato…). We all enjoy some favorite seasonal foods, and while we shouldn’t just stop enjoying them, it is important to be aware of which ones can pose harm to our oral health. By being aware, we can take extra care to brush and floss after partaking in these foods, as well as remembering to enjoy them in moderation. Below are the most harmful summer foods for your oral health.

1. Sugar filled popsicles/ fruity summer drinks

These are generally about the same in terms of ingredients. They are sticky, enjoyed slowly so they linger on our teeth, and full of sugar. A better alternative all around (especially for your overall health!) would be drinks made of natural fruit juices without added sweeteners, and popsicles made of real fruit–there are many ways to make creative and delicious popsicles at home using a freezer mold. As with any juice-type treat, it is always better to finish quickly (of course, watch out for brain freeze!) rather than linger over it for hours, which causes the sugar to come in continuous contact with the teeth

2. Pickles

Pickles contain colorants that can harm the enamel of your teeth, as well as a surprising amount of sugar.

3. Tomatoes

Tomatoes boast a number of health benefits, so certainly don’t cut them out of your diet–just be sure to brush and floss well because of their high acidity.

4. Caramel corn

A favorite at many boardwalks, caramel corn sticks to your teeth and when it becomes hard and stale, can pull out loose fillings.

5. Grilled meats

Meat tends to get stuck between your teeth, and there is such a high percentage of people who do not floss on a regular basis that it is worth a mention. Take extra care to floss after eating at a delicious cook-out to dislodge anything that may become stuck.

As always, don’t deprive yourself of your favorites, but instead, eat and drink in moderation, and make healthy, tasty substitutes when you are able.


About the author

A practicing dentist since 1982, Dr. Gary Imm, provides advanced cosmetic dentistry, including smile makeovers, sedation, implant and TMJ services. He is committed to progressive, extraordinary care for his guests. All Smiles Dental Care trains at least 300 hours each year at such prestigious centers as the Las Vegas Institute of Advanced Dentistry. (LVI)

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