Come Fourth of July and anyone with a grill gets busy. So do the dentists, apparently! All that barbecue sauce and sugary foods that one eats on this holiday can lead to tooth damage. Summer BBQ and eating tooth-healthy foods may seem impossible, but can be done with a little bit of thought and application. Let’s find out how we can eat more tooth-healthy this July.
How bad is sugar?
Your sweet tooth sends out cravings that make you gorge on donuts, cakes, pies…. When you eat more sugary foods (and BBQ sauce is loaded with sugar!), the bacteria inside your mouth get busy. They attack the sugars with a vengeance, interact with the plaque, and start eating into your teeth. Sugary foods tend to stick, and they form a coating on the teeth that attract bacteria.
How to get rid of the coating that sugar forms on your teeth?
If you eat sugary stuff like candy, chocolates or ice cream, then do remember to brush your teeth afterward. At least wash with water immediately to remove as much sugar as possible. Brushing needs to be done properly and regularly, and at least twice a day. If you indulge in sweets frequently then do brush immediately to remove the damaging sugars that cling to your teeth.
How to replace the sugars?
If you love the sweet stuff, then you could substitute refined sugars for naturally sweet foods. Opt for seasonal fruits that are sweet and juicy. They are not only a good source of sugar but also have other health benefits. Avoid sugary drinks and opt for natural juices. Even spices can add a zing to your food and stop your sugar craving. Adding cinnamon to your cereal makes it tasty and you don’t miss the sugar as much. Similarly, adding nutmeg to coffee brings out the flavor and you can go light on the sugar. Another good idea is to use ginger to glaze fresh fruit. Cookies can be made with cinnamon and rice. Experiment with recipes that use honey and brown sugar, instead of the refined white variety.
Barbecue season (or any other season for that matter) need not spell trouble for your teeth anymore. Curb the use of sugars and use healthier substitutes that not only benefit your teeth, but add to your overall well being.