On the Fourth of July, the grills get busy. So do the dentists, apparently! All the barbecue sauce and sweets eaten this holiday can lead to tooth damage. Combining summer BBQ with tooth-healthy eating may seem impossible, but it can be done with a little bit of forethought and application. Let’s find out how we can eat healthier this holiday.
How bad is sugar?
When you eat more sugary foods (and BBQ sauce is loaded with sugar), the decay-causing bacteria inside your mouth multiply. They feed on sugar, and mix with saliva to form a sticky film called plaque on your teeth. If the plaque isn’t removed, it can dissolve the teeth’s enamel and inflames the gum tissue.
How to get rid of the coating that sugar forms on your teeth?
If you choose to eat sugary stuff like candy, chocolate or ice cream, remember to brush your teeth afterward. At the very least, rinse with water immediately to remove as much sugar as possible. Brushing needs to be done regularly – at least twice each day.
How to replace the sweets?
If you love the sweet stuff, then try swapping the sugars for healthier sweets. Choose seasonal fruits that are sweet and juicy – they also have other health benefits. 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.