Summer Eating Tips to Avoid Cavities – Things to Remember

Cavities are holes that appear in your teeth as a result of the acids secreted by various bacteria that live within your mouth. They can cause serious oral health problems and as a result, it’s vital you take time to focus on preventing them. Most people know basic tips for doing so, but when it comes to summertime, it can be hard to remember them since so much is going on and you’ll likely be somewhat out of your normal routine due to the various activities. However, there are some basic eating tips you can remember which will certainly help. For starters, realize the bacteria that cause cavities are normally triggered by sugary foods, not by fats from meats or cheeses. In other words, eating foods that contain no simple sugars like fructose won’t cause cavities to occur. Hot dogs, burgers, and ribs off the summer grill won’t contribute at all. Nor will fresh garden veggies. It’s eating sugary sweets and drinking sodas – two things that most people do during summer – that contribute to cavities. Try to avoid these things and focus on foods that won’t cause cavities to occur. There are still plenty of delicious options. Another thing to remember is regardless if you eat sugary treats or never touch them, any good fluoride rinses or similar products you use will be negated as a result of eating. That means constant snacking is your enemy. Taking the time to brush and rinse with a fluoride rinse after eating a meal will help protect teeth, but eat one snack and that fluoride protection is gone. Try to stick with regular meals and avoid the temptation of snacking throughout those summer days. And stick with water instead of other drinks whenever possible as well. And there is now evidence that certain foods can actually counteract the cavity causing bacteria and acids. Eating foods like aged cheddar and Swiss cheese can literally fight cavities, so try to add them to your diet. Of course, it goes without saying that regular dental checkups along with regular brushing, flossing, and rinsing will all help as well. If your city has added fluoride to the water, drinking tap water instead of bottled water can actually have a huge impact on your overall dental health as well. Don’t let cavities ruin your summer – keep these tips in mind and you’ll be glad you did.

Dr. Hazim is a member of the American Dental Association and the Texas Dental Association. A graduate of Loyola University, Dr. Hazim has undergone continuing education at the Pankey Institute and has received accreditation from the Western Regional Examining Board.

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