These Snacks Can Protect Your Teeth at the Tailgate Party

Tailgating is as much a part of fall as changing leaves and pumpkin spice everything. However, oral health is often the furthest thing from the minds of football fans as they work their way through the barbecue and beer. Still, there are simple ways to ensure a tailgate is a positive experience for teeth and gums.

Think Crunchy

The acids and sugars in food are often painted as the villain in the oral health story. However, there are certain foods that can help the mouth produce saliva, thus maintaining the appropriate balance of acid and saliva. Crunchy foods high in water content help the mouth produce saliva, but are also naturally abrasive, cleaning the surfaces of the teeth. Apples, carrots, celery and cucumber are all great snacks to get the mouth working. Pair them with this delicious dip and for a surefire fan favorite.

Dill Dip

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tbsp dried dill
  • 1 tbsp dried minced onion
  • 1 tbsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp seasoned salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced

Combine all ingredients and refrigerate for 4-6 hours before serving. Serve with a variety of crunchy veggies for a great tailgate dip!

Drink Antioxidants

Antioxidants not only fight the bacteria that causes inflammation and gum disease, they have the added benefit of protecting blood vessels in the heart. While bell peppers and broccoli are great sources of antioxidants and are delicious with the Dill Dip recipe, consider adding other sources of antioxidants to a signature cocktail. Combine one part cranberry juice (use a variety with no added sugar), with one part pomegranate juice and one part freshly squeezed orange juice. Add sparkling water for the kids and sparkling water with a splash of vodka for the adults for a refreshing, antioxidant punch.

Go "Pro" With Probiotics

Probiotics are everywhere in the news for their positive effect on gut health and healing, but they can also help balance out the bacteria in other areas of the body. Fermented foods are great ways to grow the "good" bacteria in your mouth. Put sauerkraut on brats, use live cultured yogurt in place of some of the mayonnaise in dips, and consider adding miso to the menu for an added probiotic punch.

While there are plenty of foods to avoid this tailgate season, adding a few items to the tailgating snacks can keep your teeth and gums healthy all season long. But nothing can replace good old-fashioned oral hygiene and preventive dentistry. For more information on ways to protect your teeth or to schedule an appointment, contact our office today.