In Texas, the Fourth of July is a special time of the year. We love celebrating the birth of our country with family gatherings, fireworks and loads of great food. Tomorrow our state will be filled with backyard barbecues, parades and grand celebrations. It’s a great time of the year to spend time with friends and family, but it’s also a time not to forget about your oral health.
There are certain foods that you might encounter over the holiday that can be unforgiving to your teeth. By staying away from these foods or eating them in moderation, you can decrease your risk of decay or oral health problems down the road. Here are four quick tips about how to carefully watch your oral health during the Fourth of July:
1.) Beware of the sweets and sugary treats. I understand it’s hard to ask people to avoid sweets altogether, but know the damage that sugary treats can do to your teeth. Sugary treats are terrible for your teeth because sugar creates harmful oral bacteria that attaches to the teeth to create decay. A recent study by Biomedical Center Public Health found that sugar is the ONLY cause of tooth decay. In America, much of our daily sugar intake comes from treats but also soda. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 92 percent of Americans have cavities and about one-fifth of the population has untreated cavities.
If you want to stay cavity free, you might consider rethinking your daily sugar intake. By taking the sugar out of your diet, you can reduce your risk of cavities and keep your mouth healthy for the rest of your life.
2.) Carry some floss with you. You should already be brushing and flossing as part of your daily routine, but it’s also wise to carry floss with you. Dental floss is an important part of your oral health plan and reduces the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. By flossing your teeth, you avoid pesky cavities, especially those in between your teeth. The harmful substance plaque can form in just eight hours, so it’s important to stay vigilant. If you floss after your big Fourth of July meal, you can avoid having plaque creep in between your teeth and causes decay or other oral health issues.
3.) Select healthier snacks. Fourth of July is a day of constant snacking for some of us. While sugar treats and hard candies can lead to damaged teeth, there are healthy options that are great for your teeth. Most fresh fruits and vegetables are great for your teeth, especially snacks like carrots and strawberries. Cheese is another great snack food for your teeth. Cheese actually protects your teeth from acid erosion. So, if you’re going to eat sugary treats or drink lots of soda, cheese can help protect your teeth from harmful acids.
4.) Rebuild your emergency dental plan. There is no telling when you might find yourself in a dental emergency. Obviously, no one wants to plan for a dental emergency, but it’s important for us to have a plan in place in the event there is an emergency. During Fourth of July, most of us are active with friends and family members. Between the foods, games and activities, there is no telling when we might have a dental emergency.
I hope that each of my patient’s has a happy and healthy Fourth of July, and that means protecting your teeth and your oral health. This tips will help you have a great Fourth of July.
In the meantime, if you or your family are in need of a quality family dentist in Plano, call our office today to schedule your first appointment. Our staff is trained to handle a wide array of dental issues for patients of all ages.