Summer barbecues are known to bring smiles to many Americans’ faces, but these traditional events aren’t always good for the health of your smile. Many foods and drinks served at these get-togethers can contain cavity-causing sugar and put excess pressure on the mouth. Fortunately, you don’t have to give up ribs and hot dogs to enjoy this seasonal celebration. Instead, you can follow these tips to enjoy BBQs without having to worry about what problems your dentist may find.
How to Eat BBQ & Protect Your Smile at the Same Time
1. Munch on Foods That Clean Teeth
Although burgers, ribs, steaks, and hot dogs are the main attraction, it wouldn’t be a BBQ without sides. Unfortunately, traditional favorites—such as potatoes, chips, and macaroni salad—are incredibly starchy and full of carbohydrates that can contribute to cavities. As an alternative, choose healthier sides, especially those that help support good dental health by scrubbing teeth clean or neutralizing acids in the mouth. For example, cheese and fresh juicy apples are great options to put on your plate.
2. Use a Dry Rub
If possible, steer clear of barbecue sauces and ketchup, as these condiments are riddled with sugar. Instead, opt for a seasoned dry rub that will leave your meat with a zesty flavor and your mouth with a cleaner feeling.
3. Skip the Soda & Alcohol
Dentists strongly discourage drinking soda and alcohol, as both have qualities that can contribute to tooth decay and gum disease. These drinks can also contribute to dry mouth—a problem that allows harmful oral bacteria to thrive. As a healthier option, stick to water to keep you hydrated in the summer sun.
4. Refresh With Sugar-Free Gum
Next time you go to a barbecue, pack some sugar-free gum to chew after your meal. In addition to refreshing your breath, this gum can help remove food particles and promote saliva production to help you maintain a cleaner mouth.
5. Floss After
From corn on the cob to rib meat, barbecues are full of foods that can easily get stuck between the teeth. And if this food debris is left there too long, it can cause discomfort and increase your risk of tooth decay. That’s why it’s always a good idea to floss, as well as brush, soon after you eat.
If you’re searching for other ways to boost your dental health this summer, turn to Dr. David K. Skeels in Rochester, NY. As an accomplished family dentist, Dr. Skeels is a leading resource for routine teeth cleanings, thorough dental exams, and emergency care. He can also help you smile brighter by providing high-quality cosmetic services—such as dental crowns, porcelain veneers, implants, and teeth whitening. For more details about these services, visit this local dentist online. You can also call (585) 467-7000 to schedule a stress-free appointment with this caring provider.