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Clint Newman, DDS

How That Summer-Time Grill-Out Is Ruining Your Teeth

By Clint Newman on August 19, 2015

The Temptation of Backyard Barbecues

Summer is in full swing and with that comes one of our favorite things…barbecues! A backyard barbecue means friends, family, music, good food, and delicious summer drinks. While this is all fun and definitely something we look forward to, do you know how much damage these backyard favorites are causing to your teeth?

The Barbecue Staples: What’s The Damage and Possible Solutions:

BBQ Sauce

Problem: The thick sauce is full of sugar, and every time you take a bite the sugar hits your teeth and sits there. This can lead to tooth discoloration and even decay if it sits on your teeth long enough.

Solution: When you know you’re going to be eating this sauce, swipe a thin layer of petroleum jelly over your teeth. This will help create a barrier between the sauce and your enamel. You would never put jelly on your teeth before eating ribs? Well, teeth whitening is always an option!

Corn

Problem: Who doesn’t love corn on the cob? It delivers some nutritional value such as fiber, magnesium, phosphorus, thiamin and vitamin C. However, corn on the cob is one of the most difficult ways to eat corn. After you’re done most people find stray food particles wedged between teeth.

Solution: Preventative dentistry is one of the main ways you can counterbalance the negative effects of corn on the cob. After eating you should drink water to naturally wash away anything left behind, then after thirty minutes (when your tooth enamel has hardened), implement oral hygiene such as flossing and brushing. In addition, skip the add-ons! Yes, oil, butter, and salt may add additional flavor however they are bad for your teeth and negate the health benefits corn provides.

Citrus Fruits

Problem: Citrus fruits make great appetizers and pre-meal snack foods. While they are packed with essential vitamins, citrus fruits are extremely acidic and erosive to tooth enamel.

Solution: Try to limit your intake of citrus fruits, as the juice from them is extremely harmful to your teeth, and practice good oral hygiene. So, if you find yourself drinking citrus cocktails by the pool this year, make sure to rinse your mouth out afterward so that sugary film doesn’t stick to your teeth or cause bad breath!

Pickles and Pickled Vegetables

Problem: Pickles are great atop burgers, and even by themselves. However, pickles are made with vinegar, which is acidic, and often sugar as well. Yes, the vegetables are healthy, but they can damage your teeth!

Solution: Drinking water with your meal will help wash away acids and sugar. Just remember to brush an hour later!

White Wine:

Problem: What do we think of when we think of white wine and a BBQ? Well, sangria…duh! Red wine gets a pretty bad rap for staining teeth (which it does) but white is actually no better for your dental health. The acid in white wine eats away at your enamel and therefore leaves your teeth vulnerable to stains from other foods and drinks.

Solution: You’ve heard the saying, you want some cheese with that wine? Well, yes! It’s rich in protein, calcium, and phosphorus, all of which can help buffer the acids in your mouth. You can also gargle with water after drinking to flush away some acidity.

Don't Give Up Your Summertime Grill-Out!

Now, we don’t want you to miss out on summer fun because of your dental hygiene. So, here are some preventative tips and recommendations to help keep those teeth healthy and white!
  • Floss and Brush regularly; we can’t emphasize this enough!
  • Incorporate plenty of calcium into your diet to strengthen tooth enamel.
  • Don’t skimp on your dental checkups! Your dentist is able to clean hard to reach areas that you might miss, and therefore build up plaque.
  • Teeth whitening, with in-office and at-home options, there’s no reason not to have a white smile… even if you do love a glass of wine!

Contact Us Dr. Clint Newman would love to talk to you about the many options and treatments cosmetic dentistry provides to give you a beautiful smile. Let us worry about giving you a beautiful smile so you can worry about all the other things on your plate!

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