Ah, summer! It’s time for camping, road trips, and plenty of other outdoor activities. We plan our itineraries so we can get together with friends and family during the warmer weather. And with most of those activities, food is involved – whether it’s roasting over an open fire, spread out over a picnic blanket, purchased from a county fair vendor, grilled on a backyard barbeque, or some other special treat. Although summer is almost over, it’s a good idea to look at how it’s affecting us — not just our disposition, but our oral health as well.
Moderation is Still Important
Because summer brings special times that likely don’t happen for us every year, let alone year-round, we might be tempted to let down our guard. “It’s been a couple years since we’ve been camping, so having a few extra smores will make up for lost time.” “Wow, that corndog was amazing! Gotta get another one!” “A gallon of grandma’s lemonade is acceptable on such a hot day — you’ll just sweat it out during the baseball game.”
However, what about the next week at the graduation party, or two weeks after that when you’re at a free concert, or the following trip to the water park? As your special summer activities accumulate, so can the sugary treats or low-quality foods and drinks you consume. The lack of nutrition sneaks up on you and eventually affects your health. But there is a more immediate concern! Most of these foods and drinks contain higher levels of sugars, carbohydrates and other components that are a feast for oral bacteria. They multiply with the increase in resources, attacking your teeth and gums with greater numbers.
True, enjoying special foods and drinks in the summer months is one of the ways we all love to enjoy the season. If you keep the amount and frequency under control, however, you can still fully enjoy these treats. In fact, your might find you enjoy them even more when you don’t have too many of them.
Change of Habits
Along with moderation, adjusting your food choices can also help tip the balance toward a healthier summer. For instance, add some carrots, apples or celery to your barbeque plate. Most cheeses are low in sugar, high in phosphorus and calcium, and increase the pH levels in your mouth to even out the acidity of teas, lemonades and sodas. And although sodas and lemonades can be refreshing, sometimes you just can’t beat a tall glass of ice water. Be careful with the ice, however — chomping on it could damage your chompers.
Summer months are full of fun activities, but make sure it doesn’t lead to a mouth full of cavities. If you haven’t already, establish a baseline of your current oral health with a checkup at the Yuba City Dentistry Group. We can also clean your teeth, so you’ll further enjoy the flavors and textures of summer foods. It also gives you an opportunity to discuss different foods with your dentist — which ones are okay, which ones to eat moderately, and which ones to avoid. That way you can enjoy your summer — and all the foods it brings — with a healthy smile!