So many people love autumn. The kids are back in school, the air finally cools, the holiday season begins, and the college and professional sports season is in full swing. Whether you follow William & Mary, the Washington Redskins, Virginia Tech, or even the Washington Wizards, food, drink, and merriment abound — and it could be affecting your teeth. At Reston Serenity Smiles, we’re not opposed to a little fun, but we do want you to be informed about how your tailgating parties and sporting events could be damaging your smile.
Enjoying the following foods in moderation is okay, but if you’re indulging every single weekend, you may want to proceed with caution:
- Starchy Foods — Nachos, hamburger buns, crackers, and potato chips may be delicious, but they get stuck in the grooves of your teeth. There, they act the same as sugars and lead to plaque, which then promotes tooth decay. After you indulge in one of these foods, either brush your teeth or gnaw on a fresh fruit or veggie to help naturally clean your teeth.
- Soft Drinks — This probably isn’t news to you, but soft drinks are bad for your teeth. Why? They contain sugar, acids, and dyes that cause cavities, erode tooth enamel, and stain teeth, respectively. If you enjoy a nice, cool soft drink when you support your favorite team, be sure to follow up with some water to rinse away some of the harmful ingredients.
- Alcohol — Whatever your preference — wine, beer, cocktails, or shots — alcohol dehydrates your entire body, including your mouth. Saliva is your body’s first defense against decay, prevents bad breath, and promotes digestion; when your body is dehydrated, all of these functions are affected. Enjoy your favorite alcoholic beverages in moderation (for the overall good of your health) then follow up with a tall glass of water to stay hydrated.
The key to any good tailgate or party is balance, so if you tend to partake in the foods and beverages mentioned above, be sure to include these on your menu:
- Fresh Fruits and Vegetables — As far as your overall health is concerned, these foods will counter the starchy, fatty foods that tend to be part of any good sporting event. In addition, they will naturally help clean your teeth as you chew.
- Diary — Full-fat, low-fat, or no-fat, the calcium in dairy keeps your bones and teeth strong. Whether you prefer a cheese tray or a Greek yogurt-based veggie dip, your guests will appreciate having a healthy, low-carb option.
- Probiotics — No need to bring along a probiotic pill pack (or provide them for your guests); simply enjoy probiotic food sources such as sauerkraut (delicious on grilled sausages), pickled vegetables, and kimchi! Not only do these foods promote good gut health, they also promote the beneficial flora that protect your teeth from decay.
We love sporting events and parties as much as the next person, but we also want to protect our smiles. From armchair quarterbacks to those who prefer to pass the time with a good novel, we’ve got plenty of ideas that can help your teeth look their best. If you live in or near Reston, Virginia, contact our office to schedule an appointment. We look forward to helping you have a “winning” smile.