Summer is the time of barbecues and fun in the sun. Eating seasonal foods during your summer fun can have many benefits for your health and the environment. Popular summer foods include watermelon, mangos, corn, and much more.
However, sometimes these delicious summer foods aren’t so good for your teeth. Whether your teeth are damaged or stained, some summer food is just the worst for your teeth!
In this guide, we’ll explore all the summer foods that are bad for your teeth. For those concerned about their dental health, it’s best to avoid them or limit their intake.
Corn on the Cob
Corn is certainly in season during the summer. But, among the foods bad for teeth, corn on the cob is certainly up there.
Corn itself isn’t a bad food for teeth. However, eating it off the cob can dislocate fillings or cause chipping of the teeth. Corn is especially dangerous if you have weaker teeth or a large number of implants or fillings.
If you are someone with weaker teeth, try cutting your corn off the cob. People with braces should also consider cutting their corn, as corn can easily get stuck between braces or damage them.
You should also remember to floss and brush your teeth after eating corn. Kernels can easily get stuck between teeth, causing plaque build-up.
Delicious fruity drinks are one of the best parts of summer. But, did you know that fruit juice is actually one of the worst drinks for your teeth?
The high acid and sugar content of fruit juice can lead to tooth decay and tooth erosion, wearing down your enamel. Note that sodas can also cause tooth decay. If you want to enjoy bad drinks for your teeth, water is always the best choice.
However, if you really want to enjoy fruit juice, it’s best to dilute it with a little fizzy or flat water.
Alcohol and fruit juice often go hand in hand, which is a double whammy for your dental health. Alcohol can contribute to tooth decay, especially excessive drinking.
Fruity alcoholic drinks contribute to plaque build-up. Certain dark beers and wines can lead to serious staining. All in all, alcohol is best enjoyed in moderation throughout the summer to prevent tooth damage.
One of the superfoods of the summer season, blueberries are rich in antioxidants. Unfortunately, all these antioxidants cause a rich blue color that can stain your teeth.
Blueberries can be especially staining for those with veneers or dentures. If you decide to eat blueberries, simply rinse your mouth out afterward to prevent staining.
Tooth whitening services can also help you clear up any staining caused by blueberries or other brightly-hued summer foods.
Lots of fruits and vegetables in season during the summer are highly acidic. Acidic foods are some of the worst foods for teeth health. From ice-cold lemonade to tomato-based foods like ketchup and salsa, acidic foods can weaken your enamel and discolor your teeth.
Some highly acidic summer foods include:
Unlike sugary foods, you should wait a bit after eating acidic foods to brush your teeth. Brushing teeth with weakened enamel can wear them down and lead to permanent damage.
Instead of brushing, simply rinse your mouth out with flat water. This will help to rinse away any acid that may linger and break down your tooth’s surface.
Popsicles and Ice Cream
Many of us don’t like biting into ice cream. This is because of tooth sensitivity, which can cause pain when biting into cold treats.
Popsicles and ice cream are also full of sugar. Just like fruit juice, this can cause cavities and tooth decay.
If you don’t want to avoid ice cream altogether, look for options with no sugar added. Also, remember to rinse your mouth and brush your teeth after enjoying a treat to get rid of all that sugar.
Though it’s not technically a food, many people enjoy chewing on ice to cool off during the hot summer months. However, chewing ice is one of the easiest ways to damage your pearly whites.
Ice chewing can cause a variety of damage, including:
- Broken or cracked teeth
- Damage or breakage to crowns, bridges, or partials
- Jaw pain or damage
- Gum pain or damage
If you want to eat some ice to help cool you down, opt for shaved ice or slushies, instead. Just remember to rinse your mouth and brush your teeth afterward to get rid of the sugar that can lead to plaque build-up.
How to Avoid Foods That Are Bad For Your Teeth
There are still plenty of healthy summer treats that you can enjoy without having to worry too much about your teeth.
Seasonal vegetables like summer squash, cucumbers, and okra are all great for your health and won’t damage your teeth. Fruits like water and strawberries are also a good option!
As for beverages, water is always the best way to go. Be sure to rinse out your mouth if you decide to drink any sugar or alcoholic beverages.
You also don’t have to avoid damaging foods entirely. Remember, moderation is key. You should also rinse after eating damaging foods and don’t forget to brush and floss regularly.
Keep Your Teeth Healthy All Summer Long
Now that you know some foods that are bad for your teeth, you can keep a better eye on your dental health all summer long. Keeping a proactive eye on your dental health can help you avoid dental emergencies. Don’t let dental problems get in the way of your summer fun.
Contact our office to schedule a regular check-up or handle any dental emergencies that might arrive. When it comes to the dental needs of Bellefontaine, we’ve got you covered.