Summer Snacks that Are Harming Your Teeth

summer snacks that damage your smileDuring the warm summer months, there are tons of yummy foods available for us to snack on – fresh fruit, delicious salads, and mouthwatering barbecue. But not all of these foods are healthy for your teeth. At our Woodbury dental office, we’d like to talk about smile-friendly summer snacks.

As we all know, limiting the amount of sugary foods and drinks we consume is important for dental health. In the summertime, many people are quick to turn to soda, sweet tea, and sports drinks to quench their thirst. While most of these can succeed at making us less thirsty, they can also contribute to tooth damage. Instead of choosing all the sugary options available, opting for water is a smarter decision that your smile will thank you for. If you must have a soda or sports drink, try drinking it with a straw to limit how much of the liquid gets on your teeth.

Another popular beverage of choice during the summer is iced coffee. Regular morning coffee drinkers tend to drink more iced coffee when the weather is hot. The problem is that iced coffee isn’t typically just enjoyed in the morning, but rather throughout the day. By doing this, you’re increasing the amount of time your teeth are exposed to the sugar and acid, and allowing the opportunity for more damage to occur as well as staining.

Even though citrus foods are delicious, they aren’t the best snacking choices for a strong and healthy smile. Fruits like oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and limes are extremely acidic. If you snack on them for extended periods of time, the acid in these foods can damage tooth enamel which can eventually lead to decay and cavities. A good way to avoid this damage is to rinse with water after eating an acidic fruit. The water will neutralize that acid and it won’t have a chance to harm your teeth. Always rinse the acid away with water BEFORE you brush your teeth. Otherwise you are brushing the acid across your teeth and that is not helpful.

One last smile-damaging snack of summer is barbecue. This doesn’t mean you have to completely avoid all cookouts this year, it just means that all of us at our dental office in Woodbury encourage you to moderate the amount of barbecue you eat, specifically the sauce. Barbeque sauce is acidic, and as we’ve already covered above, acid is bad for your teeth. Not only that, the dyes used in many sauces can cause discoloration. Enjoy your barbeque occasionally and remember to rinse with water afterwards!

So instead of loading up on fruits, soda, and barbecue sauce this summer, make more smile-conscious choices like fresh vegetables, water, and calcium-rich cheese. Not only will your summer snacks taste awesome, it will make your dentist in Woodbury, and your smile, happy. Contact us with any questions you may have about the effect of different foods on your teeth.

Serving patients in Woodbury, Stillwater, Cottage Grove, Maplewood, Oakdale and Elmo Lake.