Block parties and summer gatherings can make it difficult to maintain optimal dental health for our children. It’s the season of chips, barbeque sauce, popsicles and smores. While we’re certainly not trying to be party poopers, we do have some recommendations to help your teeth stay healthy and white while you enjoy the party. We know some of the tooth-unfriendly foods are going to be around. We hope this list of tips will help you also fill the table with some choices that might offset some of the harmful summer snacks.
Replace chips with healthy, crunchy choices
After the initial crispness and crunchiness, potato chips just become globs of starch that settle in your molars and the pits of your teeth. It is a feast for cavity-causing bacteria.
Someone else will surely bring chips, so you can add a healthy choice to the table with apples, pears, carrots, raw broccoli or celery. Aside from being packed with vitamins and minerals, they all cleanse the palate and are natural toothbrushes that scrape away food residue from teeth and stimulate saliva flow.
A platter of cheese
From burger toppings to salads, cheese is likely to be found at summer gatherings. It is also a wonderful snack by themselves. Cheeses pair amazingly with fruits and provide good amounts of calcium and phosphorous to strengthen enamel and bones. Cheese also has the ability to modulate the acidity in the mouth toward neutral which can help prevent cavities.
Reduce the temptation of reaching for soda and juice with infused water. While the “fizzy” flavored waters are slightly acidic, they are delicious, sugar free, calorie free and tooth friendly.
Crushed ice, not cubed
Speaking of tooth-friendly drinks, provide crushed ice over cubes when possible to help protect those of us that can’t help but bite into ice cubes (a known risk factor for tooth fracture).
Both kids and adults will appreciate freshening their breath after meals with good sugar-free, cavity-fighting gum. Xylitol gum is great for mechanical abrasion of food and debris away from teeth while supporting enamel remineralization.
About Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic Specialists of Michigan, the offices of Drs. Plunkett, Ralstrom, Makowski, Thanasas, Ker, and Associates
Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic Specialists of Michigan have specialized in pediatric dentistry and orthodontics since 1968. Our family-friendly and newly renovated office gives patients and families a more comfortable and consistent experience with dentistry from the very beginning. Our pediatric dentists treat children from newborn to 18 years of age while our orthodontists provide care for both children and adults and are proud to be Premier Providers of Invisalign and Invisalign Teen services. The ability to treat all patients with compassion and individuality, including those that may have special needs reaches beyond our facility, which has treatment rooms available for children who require additional privacy and customized care options. We pioneered valued hospital affiliations to allow dental services to be performed at DMC Children’s Hospital and St. John Macomb Hospital, when appropriate or necessary, and our specialists are also proud to be on staff at Henry Ford and Beaumont hospitals.