Summery Foods that Will Keep Your Smile Healthy & Happy!
6 Summer Favorites to Enjoy
The summer months are officially here, which means pool time, outdoors, sporting events, and of course, everything else you do to have fun in the sun. During all the excitement and activities, it’s important not to forget your daily dental hygiene. As a dentist, I see many cases of cavities and decay due to neglecting oral health. However, brushing and flossing aren’t the only factors that contribute to your smile’s well-being. Have you heard the phrase, “You are what you eat?” Well, the same can be said for the condition of your teeth. What you eat the condition of your mouth. That’s why I’ve decided to include a list of some summer favorites that are also good for your grin. Read on to learn about some of the smile-healthy fare that comes with this time of the year!
Celery, Carrots, and Other Crunchy Veggies
Grocery stores are full of produce and farmer’s markets are in full swing. Did you know that these festive and refreshingly crunchy veggies are amazing for your teeth? They act as natural toothbrushes, scrubbing away lingering plaque and bacteria. Plus, they stimulate saliva flow to help wash away food debris from any previous snacks that you indulged in.
The heat automatically means that hydration is even more important. However, water is great for your smile in addition to your body. It helps to create saliva and wash away plaque. Additionally, I call it an “X-Factor” because most tap water contains fluoride, which is a naturally occurring mineral that fights decay, helping you avoid extra trips to the dentist’s office.
Although an iced tea or lemonade (or soda or sports drink) may be tempting when the summer sun is beating down, water is still the best choice for both your body and your smile. The acidity and sugars in these drinks encourage cavity-causing bacteria. If you do decide to indulge in these other beverages, be sure to chase them down with water to reduce the impact on your pearly whites.
Apples and Pears
Sweet, summery fruits are also fair game! These natural treats are rich in fiber, which works similar to the veggies listed above. Juicy apples and pears promote saliva flow while also giving your teeth a quick clean., so feel free to enjoy these options.
You can’t have a backyard barbecue without watermelon! Luckily, this water-filled summer fruit (along with cucumbers, strawberries, and cantaloupe) is a great way to stay hydrated and rinse sugar, plaque, and corn on the cob out of your mouth.
Do you love to go hiking, biking, or having other summer adventures? Surely, trail mix is in your bag of goodies to take along. While I cannot recommend the chocolate that comes in some of these snacks, nuts are actually great for your teeth! They are packed with calcium and phosphorus, which strengthen tooth enamel; plus almonds, Brazil nuts, and cashews are especially beneficial because they fight decay-causing bacteria.
There is nothing like a fresh, plump strawberry on a hot summer day. This classic fruit is rich in vitamin C, which you may know is good for your body, however it’s also great for your grin. The sensitive inner portion of the teeth, called the dentin, relies on vitamin C to stay strong.
Who knew the summer could be a time of fun in the sun AND oral healthcare? By making the right choices in your diet, you can continue to smile both now and for many summers to come. Remember these smile friendly foods as you take in the rays to keep your teeth and gums in tip-top shape!