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Are Summer Foods Ruining Your Smile?

July 14th, 2015

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From sunny afternoons by the poolside to perfect evenings under the stars, summer is the best time to relax, be adventurous, and most importantly, to smile. Many of us also enjoy summer for the delicious foods, fruit juices, and tropical cocktails. Although a summer diet may appear healthy, there are some cravings that are harmful to your teeth that may take you by surprise.

Here are some treats that can damage your teeth and gums:

Juices sometimes contain a higher amount of sugar than soda.

Many people are aware that candy and soda can erode tooth enamel, but how about fruit drinks? Although some juices, smoothies, and cocktails contain many good nutrients, many of the drinks we consume during the summer are acidic and contain a high amount of sugar per serving. Sugars can cling to teeth and harm your pearly whites by feeding the bacteria in your mouth. This process produces acids that can sometimes irreversibly damage teeth.

As it becomes hotter, make sure to keep a glass of water by your side. Also, it is best to drink juice through a straw so that the juice has a harder time sticking to the surface of your teeth. Wait to brush your teeth at least 45-minutes after consuming sugary or acidic foods/drinks, as brushing them immediately after can leave them more susceptible to damage.

Dried Fruit

Dried fruit is often sticky and packed with sugar that can harm teeth the same way that candies do. Instead, opt for crisp apples or pears.

Chewable Vitamins

Gummy vitamins are not much better for our mouths than regular gummy candies. They often stick to the surfaces of teeth and can hide in hard-to-reach places, leading to tooth decay. It is best to take vitamins in pill form.

Popcorn

We often turn to popcorn as a snack choice, especially at the movies. Yet, popcorn is famous for getting stuck in your teeth and in areas that are hard to reach with a toothbrush. Make sure to brush and floss after consuming popcorn.

Peanut Butter and Jelly

Although a delicious and easy-to-make sandwich, peanut butter and Jelly is sticky and high in sugar content. Make sure to check nutrition labels and look for natural peanut butters and sugar-free jelly.

Salad Dressing

Salad dressings often give a nice taste to salad, but the vinegar and sugar inside the dressings can harm your smile. Avoid drenching your healthy salad with too much dressing.

Barbecue sauce

Barbecues are a great part of summer, however, the sweet barbecue sauce can cause tooth discoloration and even lead to cavities if proper oral habits are not implemented.

Vinegar with Vegetables

While the vegetables are healthy, adding vinegar, which is acidic, can harm your teeth and smile.

Wine

While red and white wine has its benefits, they also can cause trouble for your teeth. Red wine can cause staining, and the acids in white wine can damage your enamel. When consuming wine, accompany it with cheese, which is rich in nutrients including protein, calcium and phosphorus, to help fight the acids.

 

Don't fall into the sweet summer temptations that can harm your smile! There are many products sold that brand themselves as healthy products, however, sometimes the ingredients can cause damage to your teeth. It is important to remember that along with brushing, flossing, visiting the dentist, and practicing other good oral health habits, your diet plays a significant role in the health of your teeth. Make sure that your smile sparkles by monitoring the foods and drinks you consume this summer.

 

Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group if you have any thoughts or concerns; they will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to set up an appointment and consultation.

Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist Dr. VanDr. Emad is happy to help with your orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other oral surgery needs Dr. Ghazi would be more than willing to help.

References:

http://time.com/3907886/teeth-damage-causes/

http://summertomato.com/10-foods-you-didnt-know-were-damaging-your-teeth/

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Summertime in the City: What's Healthy and What's Not

June 2nd, 2015

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June is finally here and it will be hard for many of us to resist a cold drink on a hot summer day. With the many family barbecues and outings, you're sure to be in for a treat this summer. During the warmer months, there are many tasty foods and drinks at our convenience. However, some of these items aren’t so tooth-friendly. As we all know, it is important to limit the amount of sugary foods and drinks we intake to ensure a healthy smile. For the health of your mouth, which links to your overall health, try adding these healthy options to your plate and glass this summer:

Drink, Drink, and Drink more water:

A nice glass of water can be a refreshing drink as you relax by the poolside. Water is important for staying hydrated, especially when your active and the sun is shining. Your smile will also thank you if you rinse your mouth with water after meals. Water, particularly tap water, even has the benefit of containing fluoride.

Watermelon:

Watermelon, made of 92% water, is another tasty  and healthy snack that will keep you hydrated this summer. It contains  lycopene, which helps keep skin protected. Also, many foods that are mainly composed of water have fewer calories. Your kids may even enjoy making watermelon popsicles!

Milk:

Milk is a great alternative to sugary drinks because it has been found to reduce levels of acid produced by plaque bacteria. Milk helps remineralize teeth by providing calcium to keep your teeth strong.

Sugar-Free Gum:

Chewing sugar-free gum can help to stimulate saliva flow and ultimately help to wash away left behind foods. However, it is not clear whether or not xylitol, commonly found in sugar-free gum, actually lowers the risk of developing dental cavities.

Strawberries:

Strawberries are in season and packed with healthy ingredients. Strawberries contain malic acid, which is known to whiten enamel. They also contain many antioxidants and vitamin C, which can help to regulate blood pressure and cholesterol, and promote eye health.

Cheese:

Cheese is full of calcium, the protein casein, and vitamin D, all good for the health of your teeth. Researchers have discovered that cheese helps increases the pH levels of dental plaque, helping to reduce tooth decay.

Pears:

Pears contain a wealth of fiber that will benefit your teeth. They help to produce saliva and lower plaque levels in the mouth.

Apples:

Crispy apples are full of vitamins and nutrients. Full of water and lots of fiber, apples help to scrub and clean the surface of your teeth.

Vegetables:

Veggies ranging from carrots rich in Vitamin A to dark leafy greens rich in iron, can make a great snack to chew on. Including vegetables in your diet is essential for the health of your teeth and body.

Cranberries:

Research has suggested that cranberries help lower the risk of cavities by helping to keep plaque from sticking to teeth. But, you may want to pay attention to the labels on cranberry products, as many of them can contain added sugars to compensate for their naturally tart flavor.

 

Some foods and drinks that are hard-to-resist, but should be avoided to keep strong and healthy teeth, include:

 

Soft Drinks, Sports Drinks, Sweet Tea, and Juice: Drinking a cold soda may sound refreshing, but it is damaging to tooth enamel. It can also dehydrate your body and make you feel more thirsty. Even sports drinks, artificially sweetened drinks, and concentrated fruit juice contain sugars for the bacteria in dental plaque to feed on and produce harmful acids. The acid then tears away at tooth enamel and can eventually lead to tooth decay. Highly acidic drinks can even cause heartburn and stomach pain. Sipping on these drinks throughout the day rather than at meal times should also be avoided because saliva production is not at its peak. Saliva is important for washing away bacteria and food particles.

Ice Cream:

The many flavors of ice cream are delicious, but unfortunately is full of sugar. Some individuals may also experience tooth sensitivity. Sensitive teeth results when the dentin underneath tooth enamel becomes exposed. This can cause pain, but can be treated. If you do have a taste for ice cream, try and select ice cream with less sugar.

Citrus Fruits:

As we all know, limes, lemons, oranges, and grapefruits are very acidic. These fruits contain citric acid and can be damaging to teeth if consumed frequently.

Vinegar:

A common practice, but an unhealthy one, is to mix vegetables with vinegar. This acidic combination can erode tooth enamel. Pickles are also very acidic.

Granola and Energy Bars:

These items may appear to be good for teeth, but often the dried fruit and other ingredients can be sticky, chewy, and hard to get off of teeth.

Candy: 

We all know that candy contains a lot of sugar, and should be avoided for the protection of your smile.

 

It is important to remember that if you do choose some of the not-so-healthy foods and beverages, consume them in moderation. Also, avoid snacking between meals, as acids can stick around for up to 20 minutes after eating. Not to mention, be mindful of the dyes used in many foods and beverages that can cause tooth discoloration. Practice good oral health habits and lean more towards a tooth-friendly diet.

Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group if you have any thoughts or concerns; they will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to set up an appointment and consultation.

Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist Dr. VanDr. Emad is happy to help with your orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other oral surgery needs Dr. Ghazi would be more than willing to help.

References:

http://www.therabreath.com/articles/blog/fresh-breath-happenings/teeth-friendly-summer-food-ideas-34659.asp

http://greatist.com/health/healthy-teeth-foods

http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-watermelon-popsicles-10713

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