The Crunch without the Punch
The sticky residue left by that satisfying potato chip crunch is the opening ticket for decay causing bacteria to set up shop in your mouth. Avoid the decay bugs by healthier snacks like fruit platters with pears and apples. Enjoy better healthier crunches with celery, carrots and broccoli that also won’t wilt with tasty dips.
Cheese it up
You need calcium and phosphorus to replace the missing components that keep your teeth strong and healthy. When bacteria produce acids in your mouth, calcium is dissolved away and needs replacement.
That cheese platter, or the burger with cheddar cheese topping is just the ticket to replace the calcium that has drained off. Since milk products like cheese and yogurt have low sugar and lots of phosphorus and calcium, they are just the right foods to replenish your tooth enamel as well as protect against gum disease too.
Toothpicks are great to pick up olives or finger foods, but keep those sharp edges away from your gums. When food particles get stuck, wood splinters and gum piercing are no fun since germs can cause infections after using a toothpick the wrong way. Softer plastic non piercing toothpicks are available like Stim-U-Dent to prevent picnic toothpick trauma from ruing the day.
Keep seeds out of the menu to help prevent those little rascally sesame and poppy seeds from lodging in tight spaces between the teeth. Buy seedless hot dog or hamburger buns, and crunchy apples or pears instead of blackberries and raspberries. Seedless watermelon is a great refreshing desert idea. Thank Professor H. Kihara who developed a system for producing seedless watermelons in 1951.
Develop a Crush
Chewing on ice cubes produces thermal shock when the 32-degree ice cube meets the 98-degree tooth. Ice can cool you off, but fractures in the enamel develop which can later break off and leave your tooth a hurting. Avoid ice cube chewing by serving crushed ice with drinks.
Serve Tastier Water
Some of us have performed the grade school experiment of putting a baby tooth in carbonated soda and seeing it dissolve 24 hours later. These carbonated beverages have an acidity level equal to strong acids and that’s why a tooth will dissolve in a glass overnight, or microscopically in your mouth when you are drinking a carbonated drink. Water is better for you, lacking sugar and acid. It can be flavored up with a twist or bought with infused flavors off the shelf.
Can Gum be Good?
Those onions in the salad or on the burger may leave your friends looking for a mouth freshener. Ditch the mints in favor of sugarless gum. Studies from the ADA show that sugarless gum chewing may actually help reduce cavities. Chewing helps produce saliva that washes away food particles. Saliva counteracts acids produced by bacteria and also has antibacterial properties too. The more saliva the better.
Enjoy your picnic and congratulations on the healthy approach!
From the American Dental Association some fun for your children this 4th of July (click on image to download)