The Fourth of July in the US has become synonymous with picnics, barbecues, and pool parties with lots of soda and potato chips. While it’s become an American tradition, the foods popular at Independence Day gatherings can wreak havoc on your teeth. Livonia dentist Dr. James Stewart has some helpful advice about what to avoid at this year’s party.
How Does my Diet Affect my Teeth?
Your mouth responds almost instantly when certain foods or beverages are introduced. Bacteria in your mouth convert the sugars in the foods you eat to acids. Those acids in turn attack the enamel on your teeth, which is the hard protective coating. Every time you eat, you are exposing yourself to acids and increasing your risk of tooth decay, but some foods are worse than others.
Worst Foods for Fourth of July
- Sodas and other carbonated beverages–Soda is terrible for teeth. Sodas are loaded with sugar and form a perfect storm when mixed with the acids in carbonation. While diet sodas don’t contain the massive amounts of sugar found in regular sodas, the acids in the carbonation still eat enamel.
- Starchy foods–You might want to forego the potato salad this year. While potatoes, pasta, and potato chips don’t necessarily taste sweet, the starches in these popular summertime foods are rapidly converted into sugars by saliva and bacteria in the mouth.
- Ice—It’s hot, we know. But even though it might be tempting to chew on the ice after finishing your glass of water—because you wouldn’t be drinking soda or carbonated beverages after we cautioned against it, would you?—chewing ice is like playing with fire. Really cold fire. Our teeth are strong, but they’re not designed to chew substances as hard as ice. Chewing ice can cause tiny cracks in the teeth that can lead to problems later.
Some Good Independence Day Foods
- Crunchy vegetables
- Green or black tea
Schedule an Appointment
Even if you skip the soda, potato chips, and pasta salad, it’s still important to schedule regular cleanings and checkups with Dr. Stewart. Call our Livonia dentist office at (734) 425-4400. We serve patients from Novi, Farmington Hills, Plymouth, Dearborn, and the surrounding areas.