Posted on 6/30/2016 by Dr. Janice Pliszczak
|Summer is all about picnics and family barbecues, which can be great fun! We encourage our families to spend time together. We also encourage them to make the right choices when packing those picnics, however, as there are many foods that can be very damaging to your mouth if you are not careful.
Here is a sneak peek at what our dentists love to pack for their picnics. Hopefully it will give you some good ideas to keep your family happy and their teeth healthy at the same time!
Fruit is so refreshing on a hot summer day and it can be great for your teeth too! A summer favorite, watermelon, is a great choice. Not only is it packed with Vitamin C, which helps to boost the immune system, but it also consists of a majority of water, which means that your saliva production is enhanced while you eat it.
A high saliva production is crucial to washing bacteria and acids from your teeth, both of which could eventually cause tooth decay. So don't forget the fruit for your picnic!
Calcium not only does the body good, but the teeth as well! Pack a variety of cheeses to please everyone at your picnic and let them munch away! There is no risk of sugars or acids harming their enamel and they are actually helping to build their teeth up by choosing cheese.
Yogurt is another great choice as it is also filled with calcium that helps to build the teeth back up. Bring a variety in your cooler and let everyone snack away!
We love to pack carrots and celery in our picnic lunches because they serve as nature's toothbrushes. The crunchiness of these vegetables helps to scrub the teeth while you eat.
This means that any leftover sugar, bacteria, and acids could potentially be scrubbed away just be enjoying some delicious carrots or celery. If you can avoid dipping them in ranch or other vegetable dips, you will give your teeth the greatest benefit of all!
Every picnic needs plenty of drinks, especially if everyone is participating in outdoor activities. The best drink you can pack is water. Skip the sodas, fruit juices, and teas and just go for the good stuff.
Water not only hydrates your body while you are out in the hot, summer sun, but it also helps to wash away any debris that might be left behind in your mouth. This means that if you choose to eat less than healthy foods for your teeth, the water can help to wash away the harmful particles they leave behind, giving you a better chance at fighting tooth decay.
Foods to Avoid
Of course, no list of picnic foods would be complete without a list of what to avoid! Crunchy starches, like potato chips and crackers; cookies; candies; and soda are among the highest offenders at picnics.
Even though starches do not seem like they would do any harm, carbohydrates turn into sugars in your mouth, which means that bag of potato chips can do as much harm as a candy bar! Skip these foods and stick to the healthy stuff if you want to stay healthy this summer.
Packing for a picnic does not have to be stressful! Stick to the basics and focus on the fun rather than the food. Choosing healthy fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy are the best way to keep everyone in tip top shape, eliminating the risk of downtime this summer as a result of tooth decay, infection, or other oral health issues that can put a damper on your fun.
If you would like more tips on healthy eating for your oral health, contact us today!