Summer is our favorite time for indulging in a huge variety of season-specific treats. And, while we think any food is fine in moderation, there are certain summer snacks that can hurt your teeth if you’re not careful — some of them may even surprise you. Below, we’ve listed 5 popular summer foods that may cause damage to your pearly whites, and how you can enjoy while still keeping your champers strong and resilient.
1. Corn on the Cob
While corn itself isn’t bad for your teeth per say, eating it off the cob can cause fillings to dislodge and chipping to occur, especially if your teeth are particularly weak. So, consider cutting the kernels off the cob instead to avoid any potential damage. Also, remember to brush and floss thoroughly after your meal, as the casing surrounding each kernel can get stuck between your teeth and will cause plaque — and a trip to the dentist — if not removed.
2. Iced Coffee
It’s common knowledge that coffee (iced or hot) can stain your teeth. However, iced coffee also tends to come loaded with sugar syrup, which can cause tooth decay if you indulge too often. Also, do you find yourself chewing on those ice cubes once your coffee is done? That’s one habit that has to stop, as it can wear down the enamel and make your teeth more susceptible to chipping. So, if you need an iced coffee daily, remember to ask for no sweetener, and leave those cubes in the cup. Your teeth will thank you — trust us!
Pickles are a staple at any summer barbecue. But remember, they’re literally swimming in a vinegary, acidic bath that can decimate your tooth enamel over time. If you find yourself eating quite a lot of pickles this summer, consider simply rinsing your mouth out with water after your meal. This will help get rid of any acid that’s lingering on your teeth, which will help prevent enamel erosion and sensitivity.
4. Sodas and Sugary Drinks
Okay, we know this one comes as no surprise — sodas and sugary drinks are bad with your teeth. And, while these beverages aren’t only drunk in summer, we definitely see a major uptick in the consumption of sweet, cold drinks by all ages when the weather gets warm. Some unassuming culprits? Sweet martinis and mixed alcoholic drinks, sports beverages, and even flavored waters. While one or two of these drinks per week is fine, remember that nothing beats plain water to keep you cool and hydrated all summer long.
5. Ice Cream and Popsicles
Another no-brainer, but this one bears repeating. Ice cream and popsicles are loaded with sugar, and kids are particular susceptible to over-indulging when the ice cream man comes around every day. Because children’s teeth are still developing and the enamel is relatively soft, a constant barrage of sticky sugar can cause plaque and tooth decay rather quickly. This can be particularly troublesome if your child already has his or her adult teeth growing in, as damage done to permanent teeth is, well, permanent. Good habits can last a lifetime, so take the opportunity this summer to teach your child about how different foods can affect their dental health, and remind them to brush and floss after every sweet treat.
Remember, it’s perfectly okay to eat all of your favorite summer foods. Just keep in mind that moderation is the key to a healthy diet and healthy teeth, and it’s important to brush and floss regularly in order to cut down on any sugars, acids, or stains that can harm your pearly whites.
Have more questions about how summer foods can affect your teeth? Contact the professionals at DentaLux today, or leave a comment below!