Get Your Summer Smile Ready

May 28, 2021

Summertime is right around the corner! And that means fun in the sun, vacations, and backyard barbecues. While we are usually concerned with getting our physique ready for bathing suit season, we don’t often consider what effect our dietary choices have on our oral health.

To keep you smiling all summer long – and avoid any emergency dental visits – we have rounded up some of the worst (and sneakiest) summer favorite foods to avoid, and offer up some tasty alternatives that won’t harm your mouth, teeth or gums.

Skip the Chips

Although crunchy potato chips seem like the perfect summer snack or side dish for a hot dog or hamburger, think twice before you start munching! Since chips are high in starch, as you chew they are broken down into sugar which sticks to your teeth and breeds bacteria that can cause cavities. Eating them for a prolonged period of time – because who can stop after just one or two chips – causes the mouth to produce excess acid which can cause further tooth damage. Chomping on harder chips with sharp edges, can also increase your risk of gum damage. This summer, skip the chips! And instead opt for crunchy crudités dipped in hummus. Munching on fresh chopped veggies, such as carrot and celery sticks, can actually clean your teeth by scrubbing away built-up food particles.  

Choose Your Fruit “Berry” Wisely

Choosing fruit over a sugary dessert seems like a healthy choice, but certain berries actually pose a threat to your teeth. The juice from blueberries, strawberries and Boysen berries can undo the effects of a recent whitening treatment, and even cause further staining. Additionally, berries with seeds – especially larger ones such as blackberry and raspberry seeds – can get stuck in between teeth or lodged in the gums, which can lead to decay or abscesses at the gum line. To avoid the many dental pitfalls of berries, choose a different summer fruit, such as seedless watermelon or a juicy peach, to enjoy instead!

Beware of … Corn on the Cob

No backyard BBQ is complete without corn on the cob! But sadly, it can wreak havoc on your dental health due to the skin on the corn kernels which easily gets trapped between teeth. Once this happens, it can cause several problems for your teeth and gums. Despite being a vegetable, corn is high in sugar, so the pieces stuck between teeth provide food for bacteria to grow and cavities to form. People often try to dislodge the pieces of corn stuck in their teeth using a toothpick which can pierce the gums and cause pain or lead to infection. Try cutting the corn off the cob before eating it to minimize the amount that gets stuck between teeth, and use floss or a dental pick instead of a hard wooden toothpick.

Hydrate Wisely

While we all know that soda and sports drinks are loaded with sugar – which will eat away at your teeth when sipped slowly over time – during the heat of the summer when we are often parched and thirsty, it can be hard to resist. To reduce temptation, try preparing and enjoying some delicious and nutritious infused water to sip and share instead. Simply fill a pitcher or glass with water and then cut up fruits, veggies and herbs of your choice. Some of our favorite combinations include watermelon and mint or strawberries and lemons. Refrigerate for an hour or two and then strain to serve over ice.

At Roselle Park Dental, we want you to have your BEST SUMMER! Get your smile summer ready – call us today at 908-998-4698 or visit us online: to schedule your next cleaning appointment or whitening treatment!

Author: Sara Magnola Taner is an online marketing and communications specialist – with a website development and editorial background – who has 15 years of experience creating and editing clear, compelling content on diverse topics across a wide range of mediums.