In just a few short weeks, kids will be out of school, families will be preparing for vacation and warm weather will return once again. For many, summer is the best time of the year, a chance to slow down and reconnect with friends and families, a time for picnics, swimming pools, cookouts and long evenings spent outdoors. Many of the gatherings and activities that we associate with summer are centered on food, which is why the team at Premier Dental Care would like to share the following information on which summer foods are best for good dental health, as well as which can lead to dental problems. Fortunately, there are plenty of healthy options that can be enjoyed throughout the summer and beyond!
Make Hydration Fun
Everyone knows that drinking water is a critical component of good health, but many of us fail to stay properly hydrated. Regarding dental health, water helps to flush the mouth of lingering sugars and food particles and also stimulates the flow of saliva. One way to boost water intake during the summer is by creating infused water drinks. Adding chunks of fresh fruit to a pitcher of water imparts a subtle sweetness, and it is a beautiful addition to any table. Families can get the kids involved by letting them create their own infusion combinations.
Bring on the Crunch
One of the most common food items served at summer gatherings is potato chips or other types of processed snacks. There are plenty of reasons to avoid these foods, including the damage that they can do to your teeth. When you snack on chips, particles of those snacks become compressed into the pits of your teeth. That provides a perfect snack for the bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease. A far better option is to include a variety of natural snacks that satisfy the urge to crunch, while also providing a cleansing effect to the surface of the teeth. Options include carrots, celery, broccoli, cucumbers and cauliflower.
Chew Your Way to Oral Health
There is something about the act of chewing that people find very satisfying, even when they are not consuming food. That is why the gum industry has become such a booming business, with dozens of options available near every cash register. Chewing gum can be great for your teeth, as long as the gum is sugar-free. Studies have shown that chewing gum for 20 minutes after a meal can help to prevent tooth decay, by stimulating saliva and washing away particles of food.
Some people satisfy their chewing cravings by chomping down on ice. While increasing water consumption is great for overall health, chewing ice is terrible for your teeth. It can damage tooth enamel, and even lead to breakage. If a loved one has an ice-crunching habit, try to use crushed ice whenever possible, which is less damaging.
At Premier Dental Care, we hope that you have a wonderful summer, full of warm days and time with friends and family. We look forward to seeing you on your next dentist visit, and encourage you to call us with any questions or concerns that arise over your dental health.