If you’re asked to bring a dish to the family reunion or the backyard barbeque, you might think that chips and dip or a dessert are the safest option. While they may be a popular option at the picnic, they certainly aren’t the safest option for your teeth. In today’s blog, we share five summer snacks you can bring to the next outing that are healthier on your teeth and will still have people coming back for second helpings.
Teeth-Friendly Summer Snacks
Here’s a look at five snack substitutes to keep in mind this summer:
- Crunchy Fruits and Veggies – People like to have a little crunch on their plate, and oftentimes that comes in the form of chips. Chewed up chips often settle between our teeth and can provide a perfect breeding ground for cavity causing bacteria. Instead of bringing potato chips, bring some crunchy fruits and veggies like apples, peppers, celery sticks or carrots. These can provide the crunch without increasing your cavity risk (and without some extra calories!)
- Cheese Platter – Maybe this is more popular in the midwest, but a cheese platter is also a good option for your teeth. This dairy product is low in sugar and rich in calcium and phosphorous, both of which can help to strengthen your enamel. Dairy products have also been linked to a reduced likelihood of gum disease, so bring a cheese platter to your next outing.
- Seedless Fruits – Fruits can be a healthier option than chips and dip, but the seeds can get stuck between our teeth and irritate our gums. When putting together a fruit tray, consider going with fruits whose seeds won’t get stuck in your mouth. Apples, oranges, bananas and pineapple are great options, but you’ll want to wash them down with water because the acids in these fruits shouldn’t linger on your teeth’s surfaces if possible.
- Infused Waters – Instead of bringing a case of juice pouches or stocking up on sugary lemonade concentrate, make some infused water. Load up a pitcher with water and some refreshing fruits or vegetables, like watermelon, lemons and strawberries, or even cucumber. These options are not only refreshing, but they will keep excess sugars out of your mouth.
- Sugar-Free Gum – Finally, when the meal is over, people are going to be looking for a palette cleanser. Putting out a pack of sugar-free gum will help to protect your guest’s teeth because gum helps to increase saliva production. Saliva helps to break down food particles that could serve to act as a breeding ground for bacteria. Have some gum handy for guests, and their mouths will thank you for it.
For more tips on what healthy summer snacks you can bring to the barbeque this year, or to talk to a dentist about a tooth issue you’re having, reach out to Dr. Brooks and his team at Smiles For Life Dental.