Summer Foods for a Healthy Mouth
The arrival of summer weather makes us all smile, especially after such a harsh winter! But take care not to let those fun summer foods harm those pearly whites; treats like popsicles and barbecue sauce taste yummy, but can cause serious stains and other dental damage. Here’s how you can enjoy the foods you love this year while keeping your oral health in check:
- Blueberries: There’s nothing like fresh blueberries in a New England summer. They’re not only delicious, but so good for you, packed with antioxidants! Unfortunately, fresh blueberries can also seriously stain your teeth. Brush your teeth right after eating, or at least rinse your mouth out thoroughly to keep the stain from setting in.
- Corn on the Cob: A staple of picnics and barbecues, corn is featured in so many summer gatherings. But because of its high sugar content, having its kernels stuck between your teeth can cause decay to develop. Make sure to floss those kernel remnants out right away to protect against damage.
- Iced Coffee: We drink this by the gallon when it’s hot – but like hot coffee, iced coffee is one of the worst offenders when it comes to teeth staining. Lighten yours up with milk or cream, and drink it through a straw to keep it as far away from teeth as possible.
- Popsicles and Frozen Treats: On a hot summer day, kids especially love an ice-cold popsicle or other frozen treat from the ice cream truck! Unfortunately, flavors like blueberry, grape, and watermelon contain darker dyes and can stain tongues, gums, and teeth. Try to stick to lighter colored flavors like lemon or vanilla to avoid those artificial food colorings.
- BBQ Sauce: Nothing’s tastier on grilled meat; but unfortunately, barbecue sauce can contain a mix of sugar, vinegar, corn syrup, brown dyes, and sugar – a recipe for disaster when it comes to breaking down tooth enamel and causing stains. Tooth enamel is something we never want to damage because it protects our teeth and once it’s gone – it’s gone. By all means enjoy this summer staple, but make sure you brush well immediately afterwards.
Wishing you all a happy and a healthy summer season!