Cookout Season and Dental Health

Cookout Season and Dental Health

Backyard barbecues are a beloved tradition of summer. We wait out months of cold weather for the chance to cook outside and enjoy the company of friends and family. Unfortunately, many of the foods and drinks associated with cookout season aren’t exactly healthy for the teeth. You don’t have to avoid them entirely, but it’s best to take some precautions for the sake of your long-term dental health.

Foods That Can Stain the Teeth

Who doesn’t love barbecued ribs or a hamburger at a backyard get-together? Even those who don’t barbecue their hot dogs and hamburgers probably put ketchup on them. These condiments, along with foods and drinks such as berries and wine, can cause permanent staining of your teeth if you consume them often enough. In fact, it takes only 30 seconds for the pigmented portion of your condiment or beverage to reach the enamel of your teeth. The best thing you can do to avoid staining is to brush after meals.

Acidic Foods to Limit or Avoid

Dill pickles and hamburgers seem to go together in perfect partnership. What you might not realize is that dill pickles are extremely acidic and can damage your tooth enamel. Other foods that fall into this category include tomatoes and salad dressing. Pickles contain a lot of vinegar, which is highly acidic, while the other foods are naturally acidic. If you eat a lot of these foods, consider drinking water as your beverage and brushing your teeth with a toothpaste that contains ingredients to strengthen enamel. However, you don’t want to brush immediately as this might spread the bacteria and acid around in your mouth.

Use a Straw to Reduce Teeth Staining

Drinking certain beverages through a straw helps to reduce the likelihood of staining because the liquid has less contact with your teeth. Some of these drinks include champagne, coffee, juice, and wine. The benefit of using a straw is that it keeps acid off your teeth that can eventually cause erosion.

Considering a Cosmetic Dentistry Procedure?

If you already have stained teeth or feel dissatisfied with another aspect of your teeth or smile, ask your dentist about our cosmetic dentistry procedures such as teeth whitening. Feel free to contact us to schedule a consultation to learn more.