3 Summer Treats that Can Damage Your Teeth

Dental Health

San Mateo Cosmetic Dentist Offers Summertime Tips for Healthy Teeth


Ahh, summertime. Vacations are in full swing and schedules are packed with fun, warm-weather activities like hiking, biking, skateboarding, swimming — or just relaxing in the sunshine. Summer is also the time for picnics, movies, and pool parties. Not to spoil your fun, but here’s a gentle reminder from San Mateo Center for Cosmetic Dentistry — summertime snacks can be tough on teeth.

Here’s a rundown of the top 3 culprits and solutions for you to consider.

Nix to Chewing Ice

Number one on our list is ice.

You can’t beat ice for cooling down on a hot day, and sometimes it’s hard to resist munching on those frozen cubes. Here’s the bad news. As satisfying as the cooling crunch may be, it can also be very harmful to your teeth. Chewing ice can chip or crack your teeth, and if your teeth are particularly sensitive, you may feel serious pain.

  • What to Try Instead

If you’re having a hard time breaking this habit, switch to slushy drinks or just let the ice melt in your mouth. You’ll stay cool and save your teeth too. If you still have the urge to munch and crunch on something, try apple slices, celery, or carrot sticks instead.

Shelve the Sugar

Popsicles come in every color and are a fun treat on a hot afternoon! But ice pops are loaded with sugar, as are many drink mixes, fruit juices, and sports drinks.

Bacteria that take up residence in your mouth thrive on sugar —  and once the sugar is consumed and digested by the bacteria, it forms an acid that mixes with your saliva to become a sticky substance called plaque. Plaque is the real culprit behind cavities, because it erodes the protective covering of enamel; and  once the enamel wears away, cavities are more likely to form.

  • What to Try Instead

Fruit can also be sugary, but it’s a much healthier option than snacks with refined sugar or high fructose corn syrup. Try fruit such as watermelon, cucumbers, peaches, pears, and apples to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Sidestep Stains

Those yummy iced coffees, frosty colas, and delish glasses of wine are great to satisfy thirst on hot summer days, but they can stain your teeth. And not to mention, most are chock-full-of sugar!

  • What to Try Instead

The best way to stay hydrated and cool on hot summer days is to just drink water! If you must indulge, try to drink lighter beverages and avoid darker sodas and malt beverages.

Good oral health is never out of season! The heat may be on this summer, and while you’re looking for ways to stay cool, also remember to care for your teeth. Watch what you chew and try to avoid sugar as much as possible. Even if you’re on vacation, now’s not the time to slack.

Are you ready for a smile makeover? Schedule a consultation with our San Mateo cosmetic dental office this summer. Call us or schedule online today.