Summer foods: What to watch out for!

apsmilecare blog 20th july summer food feature image

The summer season is a great time to indulge in all our favourite summer foods. Ice cream, lollies, picnic food and barbecues – there are plenty of delights to be enjoyed but what damage are these summer treats doing to your teeth?

When it comes to any food or drink, the ingredients you need to look out for are those that are either acidic or sugary. Unfortunately, some of the more traditional summer snacks have either an acidic or sugary profile and need to be consumed sparingly to avoid the risks of dental erosion and tooth decay.

Summer foods to steer clear of

apsmilecare blog summer foods olives

Acidic foods can cause dental erosion as the acid attacks the tooth’s enamel, exposing the dentine underneath. This loss of enamel will cause side effects including tooth sensitivity and discolouration as the hard, protective enamel is removed.

Acidic foods and drink to watch out for include:

  • Vinaigrettes
  • Olives
  • Alcohol, such as red wine and ciders

You’ll be pleased to know that not all alcohols and summer snacks are out of the question though. The following foods and drinks can be enjoyed without the worry of dental erosion:

  • Bread and rice
  • Feta cheese
  • Gin and tonic
  • Hot dogs

Of course, another major ingredient lurking in many of our summer favourites is sugar. Sorbets, ice cream and seaside rock may remind us of chilled out sun-soaked days but their sugar profile will be doing your teeth no favours at all. The sugars in these foods, and in fizzy drinks and cordials, stimulate the formation of acids. As we discussed earlier, these acids then attack the teeth and destroy the enamel as the sugar reacts with the bacteria in plaque. As a result of this tooth decay may occur, causing cavities and increasing the need for fillings.

Choose summer snacks wisely

apsmilecare blog summer foods snacks

What’s worse about these summer foods is the nature to snack on them. When you think of that pint of cola, ice cream cone, or antipasti board with olives and dressed salad, you don’t think main meal. Instead, these sorts of foods and drinks are enjoyed throughout the day, outside of mealtimes – which can cause havoc in our mouths.

Constant grazing means teeth are under attack from acid throughout your waking hours. With each acid attack lasting for 20 minutes, it’s likely you’ll constantly be topping up those acid levels if you graze on food throughout the day.

Instead, try incorporating the more acidic and sugary foods into meal times and giving your teeth a break between meals. More alkaline foods and drinks such as toast, nuts, milk and water are your better options if you like to snack between meals.

To check your oral health, or learn any more about proper dental care, book in for an appointment today. You can call the team on 01254 297 000 

Do you have any healthy, low sugar treats you like to whip up for summer? If so, share your recipes in the comments below or tweet them to @APSmilecare. We’d love to try them!

Posted on: 24th Jul, 2015