The Trouble With Tailgating
It’s football season, sports fans, which means that there is inevitably a tailgate in your future (or at the very least, a watch party in a sports bar or the home of a friend). Tailgates and parties are a great way for like-minded friends and families to support their favorite teams, enjoy each other’s company, and chow down on some tasty-but-not-so-healthy foods. At Waterford Family Dental Care, we want to make sure you’re informed about how your favorite tailgating foods affect your teeth and provide you with alternatives to protect your smile.
There are definitely some foods that are worse for your teeth than others, and we’re not just talking about Halloween candy. To protect your smile, enjoy these treats in moderation:
- Starchy Foods — Potato chips, hamburger buns, and crackers all tend to get stuck in your teeth. There, they act just like sugar and feed the plaque bacteria that leads to tooth decay.
- Acidic Foods and Drinks — Soda is one of the worst culprits when it comes to harming your teeth. Even if you drink sugar-free soft drinks, they are loaded with acids that can damage your enamel. It gets worse: Those chicken wings you love also contain acids.
- Alcohol — Not only does every kind of alcohol contain acids, it also dehydrates you. When you’re dehydrated, your mouth produces less saliva; without saliva to naturally clean your teeth, food particles tend to stick around where they can harm your teeth.
As alternatives to the aforementioned foods, try to enjoy more of these treats at your next sports soiree:
- Raw Fruits and Veggies — These foods tend to clean your teeth as you chew, removing some of the plaque that hangs out on your teeth. They also put your digestive system into full gear, including saliva production.
- Dairy Products — Not only does dairy contain calcium, which strengthens your teeth and bones, it also encourages the production of saliva. If your tailgating treats include a cheese tray and maybe a yogurt-based veggie dip, your teeth and companions will thank you.
- Water — When saliva is scarce, water is your best friend. Not only does it help to remove debris from your teeth, it also keeps you hydrated. Follow every alcoholic beverage or soda with water to keep the saliva flowing and avoid the ill-effects of the acids found in alcohol and other carbonated beverages.
Whether you support the Lions, Tigers, Red Wings, or Pistons, we want you to enjoy your favorite sporting events. Enjoy all things in moderation; if you have any tailgating-related dental concerns, we’ll be here for you. Contact our office to schedule an appointment. We proudly treat fans of all teams in Waterford, Michigan, and beyond.