One of the best parts about Labor Day is the picnics and the foods we get to enjoy at them. And while all of the treats are delicious, they may not all be great for your smile. At our dental office in Chapel Hill, we’re here to help by giving you a list of the worst Labor Day snacks for your smile as well as healthier options.
Sauces, dips, and dressings such as BBQ sauce and ketchup seem harmless enough. After all, we usually only use this as a little something extra. But these condiments are packed with acid and sugar, both of which can damage teeth.
This one should come as no surprise since it’s a well-known fact that dentists really don’t like soda. That’s because it’s loaded with sugar and is really bad for teeth. The sugar content in even one soda can contain as much as 11 teaspoons!
Drinking too much alcohol can greatly increase the risk for gum disease and decay. Certain types of alcohol can also lead to tooth discoloration. Lastly, alcohol can cause dry mouth, further putting teeth in danger of decay.
Crunchy, raw vegetables are great for gums and overall oral health. As we chew foods like broccoli or carrots they’re working to rub away plaque buildup on teeth. This helps protect teeth from decay and may even help fight off bad breath.
Fresh fruits such as crisp apples can also actually help scrub away plaque buildup. Other fruits including kiwi contain calcium which, when mixed with vitamin D, can strengthen teeth (and bones!)
Speaking of calcium and vitamin D, cheese and other forms of dairy can contain quite a bit of both. What’s more is cheese can stimulate saliva production which will help rinse away bacteria, sugar, and acids left behind.
Just like any type of foods, those that aren’t so great for your oral health are fine if enjoyed in moderation. We also recommend drinking water to help remove sugars and acids from your mouth. If you can, brushing after you eat is best but we understand that it’s not always doable. Instead, a quick swish and spit with water can help.
This Labor Day and every day, try to follow a well-balanced diet for both the health of your smile and your body. Our team at our Chapel Hill dental office wishes you a happy, relaxing, and delicious holiday.