Summer is great for enjoying quality time with your loved ones. These memorable moments usually involve summer soirees with lots of great food. When it comes to indulging in these delicious treats, you may want to be cautious of those that are detrimental to your teeth. While you don’t want to sacrifice a tasty summer meal, don’t forget that you only have one chance at a great smile. Wondering what summer foods are actually good for your teeth? Here’s a list of summer foods you can enjoy without causing your dentist to cringe.
The acid from foods we eat can tear away our teeth, but select dairy products can actually reduce acid in your mouth. Cheese is high in calcium, which makes teeth and bones stronger, but it also contains casein, a protein found in milk that is helpful in fortifying the tooth’s surface. There are plenty of fresh ways to incorporate cheeses into your summer dining; for instance, this incredibly good Greek salad dish which includes fresh summer veggies and feta cheese.
Most raw, fresh vegetables are good for your teeth because their fibrous nature requires chewing, which causes an increase in saliva production. Celery is a great tooth-friendly food choice because it helps clean out the mouth and break down the food for digestion. Celery cleans the teeth by breaking down fibrous strands that naturally clean the teeth while chewing. It is best eaten in the raw. Adding celery to any fresh salad or as part of a side dish is a great way to incorporate it this summer. Check out this celery salad with almonds and dates for a tasty idea.
Fresh fruit and vegetables are always a great summer treat. Pears, in particular, are great for oral health. Like, celery pears are fibrous in nature and they stimulate saliva production. They are especially beneficial because they have a larger acid neutralizing effect on the tooth’s surface than any other type of fresh fruit. Pears are crisp and sweet, making them a great addition to a summer barbecue dish. A great way to sneak some pear into your cooking this summer is to pear to any salad like this pear balsamic salad.
No summer party can go without potato chips but do you really want to leave the party with more than a full stomach? Potato chip often leave unwanted guests in your mouth. Chewed-up chips often settle in the pits of your teeth, giving cavity-causing bacteria the chance to make a meal from your teeth. Yuck! Instead, put apples and pears on your fruit platter, and stock your veggie tray with carrots, celery and raw broccoli. They’re like natural toothbrushes, scrubbing off build-up and stimulating saliva to wash away what’s left. For ideas on how to serve apples this summer visit http://healthylittleeaters.com/8-ways-to-serve-apples/.
Watermelon is mostly made up of water! This helps to stimulate the flow of saliva and wash away any excess food that may be stuck on your teeth. As an added bonus, it is full of vitamins that are good for you. Watermelon contain vitamin C that help kill bacteria in the mouth and strengthen the gum tissues, preventing gum disease. The antioxidants found in watermelons promote a healthy immune system which can actively fight bacteria that may cause tooth decay and gum disease. Try this watermelon-jicama salad for a delicious treat.
Green Leafy Vegetables
Leafy greens (such as spinach, kale, and collard greens) are an excellent source of vitamins and other nutritional goodies. They too act like a natural toothbrush and “brush” away plaque and other things that may be on the surfaces of your teeth. To top it off, they are low in carbohydrates, sodium, and cholesterol and contain high levels of fiber, iron, magnesium, potassium, and calcium. Which means you’ll keep your teeth and body looking and feeling great.
Soda and sports drinks are some of the worst drinks for your teeth. They eat away at your teeth, cause dry mouth and are full of sugar. Water, however, is one of the best things you can sip, so serve up a healthy drink with a twist of whatever fruit you’d like. Infused waters are low in sugar and super hydrating. (Just skip the citrus fruits. The acid in oranges, lemons, and limes can be harsh on your teeth.) Bonus: Pitchers of infused water will also look beautiful on your table.
If your summer soirees left your teeth looking grim or you’re simply looking to give those pearly whites a much needed checkup, contact us here.