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Keeping your Teeth Healthy this Memorial Day

Like most people, we consider Memorial Day the official kick-off for summer. And what would a summer day be without BBQ to eat? We love chowing down on some good country summer-time cooking but some of those favorite foods served at a backyard get-together can wreak havoc on your teeth. Here's a list of summer foods that can cause damage to your teeth and how to avoid it.

1. BBQ sauce and other dark sauces:

You can't have those luscious BBQ meats without the sauce but sauces that are dark, sticky and hot are considered the worst for your teeth. First they are dark which of course stains. Then they are sticky which makes it harder to get the sauce off of your teeth and to top it off, BBQ sauces are hot which is worse for staining because it penetrates more deeply.

You can combat the staining of BBQ sauce by swishing your teeth with some water after eating BBQ sauce. Obviously, it would be even better if you could sneak away for a quick brush.

2. Corn on the Cob:

Most people would consider corn on the cob as one of the more healthy foods at a summer BBQ. However, corn can get stuck in your teeth and beyond being a nuisance, corn can force your teeth to separate and the spaces to grow. The larger the spaces, the more room for food to get caught between your teeth.

To keep this from happening, be sure to floss the corn out from between your teeth as soon as you can. If you do not floss, you could shove the food even deeper the next time you eat. Flossing your teeth will also keep you from taking embarrassing food-caught-in-your-teeth photos.

3. Lemonade:

Ahhhh sweet, tangy lemonade. Nothing quite says summer like a tall fresh-squeezed glass of sweet lemonade. Lemonade taste great with many summer foods and really hits the spot when you are hot and sweaty. However, lemonade has a lot of acid in it that can wear away the enamel on your teeth if left to sit. Your teeth can change color and even shape if the acid is left to cause erosion.

Citrusy drinks can also dry out your mouth. This is a problem because your saliva does a pretty good job of washing away staining and damaging elements off of your teeth. If your mouth is dry, then that job is hampered.

Here again, it is obvious that brushing is your best friend. Can't brush? Swishing water in your mouth can also remove most of the acid. You can also drink some water or chew sugar-free gum to stimulate your saliva to do its job.

4. Popsicles and Slushies:

When it is hot people reach for popsicles and slushies for icy cold treats. However, note that any food that stains your tongue will also stain you teeth. Eat these in moderation and always brush afterwards.

5. S'mores:

Planning on having a campfire during a Memorial Day party and cooking up some S'mores? Well, remember that gooey foods that stick to your fingers will also stick to your teeth. S'mores are sticky and contain sugar which provides a double threat to your teeth. Believe it or not, two minutes is all it takes for chocolate to begin working on your teeth. So brush your teeth as soon as you can after eating s’mores to keep those teeth shiny white.

Your Memorial Day plans should not include staining or damaging your teeth. To prevent this, remember to brush after eating dark, sticky food such as BBQ sauce and after sweet and sticky foods. Swishing your mouth out with water is always a good "B" plan if you are unable to brush. Always pack water when you are planning on eating sweets; especially if you are in a place where you can't brush. Follow these tips to keep your teeth beautiful for Memorial Day and all summer long.

Summer time is a great time to get a teeth cleaning or even get your teeth whitened for those summer pictures. A great, healthy smiles goes a long way!

From Lembo Montgomery Cosmetic & Family Dentistry: http://www.mooresville-dentist.com/blog/266-keeping-your-teeth-healthy-this-memorial-day.html

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