Have a Safe, Smile-filled Fourth!
Amidst the Fourth of July backyard barbecues, the barrage of booms from fireworks and the general stress of having the family all together, oral health may not be at the forefront of your mind.
You may eat too much, drink too much and not get enough sleep over the holiday, but don’t neglect your teeth! Here are a few ways to keep your mouth healthy so you can keep smiling and survive the Fourth with your oral health in check:
· Water is best: Beer, soda and lemonade are popular beverages at every barbecue, but make sure to drink plenty of water, too. For one, no matter where you are, July is hot, and water is the best way to stay hydrated. But water also will keep your teeth clean and the pH normal in your mouth. Added sugar from sweet drinks can increase plaque on your teeth and the acids that eat away at enamel. Water cleans your teeth with every sip and washes away leftover food and residue that cavity-causing bacteria need. It also dilutes the acids produced by the bacteria in your mouth. Here’s the best part, as an added bonus, water helps you avoid hangovers, too!
· Eat for better oral health: There are many foods you can eat to keep your mouth healthy. For example, that burger you’ll eat at your cookout contains phosphorus, which helps maximize the effects of calcium to keep your bones and teeth strong. Also, ask for whole-grain buns. They don’t stick to your teeth as much as white buns will, and it takes longer for bacteria to produce acids using whole grains. Don’t forget to add a slice of cheese to your burger, as cheese helps neutralize acidic foods and drinks. Munching on celery is great for oral health, too. It acts as a natural floss and scrapes bacteria off your teeth. It is packed with vitamin A, which helps maintain a good saliva flow and keeps gums healthy. When it’s time for dessert, choose yogurt. It contains calcium and protein to help keep enamel strong and “good” bacteria, which helps control the bad bacteria that can lead to tooth decay and periodontal disease.
· Don’t forget the sugarless gum: You won’t have much time to brush your teeth during your July Fourth celebration, so pop a piece of sugarless gum in your mouth after eating instead. Checking gum helps produce saliva, which washes away food particles and protects your teeth from bacteria. If your favorite sugarless gum doesn’t have xylitol, chew one that does. Studies have shown that xylitol hinders the production of bacteria in your mouth, which is great news for oral health.
This Fourth of July, enjoy the family, food and fireworks, but don’t forget about your oral health! If you’re not sleeping well and it has nothing to do with loud, late-night fireworks, visit www.sleepright.com to learn more about nighttime teeth grinding, which affects many people without them even knowing.
Everyone at SleepRight wishes you a very Happy Fourth!