It’s warm out. And when it’s warm, we tend to switch the type of food and drinks we consume. But have you ever thought that what may be good tasting may not be making your smile happy? There are many common summer treats that, while tasting fantastic, are causing damage to your smile. Everyone at my dental office in St. Petersburg wants to educate you on what some smart summer snacks are and which ones to avoid.
What to Eat
Some good choices for summer snacking can include proteins, veggies, and cheese. Proteins, like nuts and turkey, are great at fighting acid and tooth decay while cheese is packed with calcium that not only protects bones, but teeth as well. Veggies are a great alternative to some sugar-dense fruits and many, like celery, contain a lot of water which helps to rinse bacteria from the mouth. When it comes to drink choices, we can’t stress enough the importance of water.
What to Avoid
- Soda, sweet tea, and sports drinks – These beverages are full of acid and sugar and can eat away at your tooth enamel and lead to decay. Choose a smarter option like water and if you have to drink a sports drink or soda, drink it with a straw to limit exposure to the teeth and drink sparingly.
- Iced coffee – When the weather is warmer, coffee drinkers tend to shift to a more climate-friendly morning picker upper. The problem is that this caffeine favorite is rarely just enjoyed in the morning, but rather sipped throughout the day. This increases the amount of time your teeth are exposed to the sugar and acid, causing more damage and even staining your should-be pearly whites.
- Pickles and pickled foods – Like sugar, acid is also dangerous for your smile and these foods are packed with both smile-damaging ingredients. Take it easy on these and opt for a raw veggie instead.
- Starch-loaded snacks – Snacks like potato chips and white bread are high in starch, and starchy foods like these can often get stuck in the grooves of teeth. Once they’re stuck, they can then feed the bacteria and plaque in the mouth, making it a great place for cavities to form.
While you’re enjoying the summer sun, make sure that you’re choosing snacks that not only hit the spot, but are healthy for both your body and your smile. At my St. Petersburg dental office, we encourage you to make healthy decisions about the treats you buy next time you’re at the grocery store. Your teeth, and your dentist, will thank you for it.
Serving patients in St. Petersburg, St. Pete Beach and Treasure Island.