The bright sun, beautiful foliage, and relaxed atmosphere of July make it the ideal month for enjoying nature. That may be the reason why the powers that be have designated July as National Picnic Month. Before you pack your basket full of goodies, however, your Lafayette dentist, Dr. Michael Young, gives you some ideas for packing a healthy picnic meal that won’t wreak havoc with your oral health.
The Main Course
Although a large pizza or a bag full of burgers may be tempting, littering would contradict the wholesome ambience of a picnic. Besides, you have everything you need for the perfect picnic already in your kitchen, or not too far away at your local grocery store. The best food choices are chicken (or other meat), cheeses, nuts, and milk. These foods are rich in calcium and phosphate, which are the same minerals your tooth enamel is made of. When enamel is weakened by bacterial acid attack, which dissolves your tooth’s minerals in a process called demineralization, calcium and phosphate allow enamel to restrengthen itself through remineralization. Eating foods rich in these calcium and phosphate facilitates the remineralization process and strengthens your teeth quicker.
It should come as no surprise that candy, cookies, cakes, and pies are a bad choice as far as your dental health is concerned. Good snack choices include firm or crunchy fruits like apples and pears. These fruits have a high water content, which dilutes the sugars they contain. They also stimulate the flow of saliva, which further buffers the acid your oral bacteria produces from the sugars you eat. Acidic foods like oranges, tomatoes, and lemons, should be eaten as part of a larger meal to help neutralize decay-causing acid.
Although you may have heard this a million times, the best choice for refreshment to bring along, on a picnic or any other time, is water or milk. Unsweetened iced tea is relatively safe as well. If you simply must have a glass of sweet tea, lemonade, soda, or any other sugar-rich beverage, Dr. Young advises that you rinse your mouth water immediately after to prevent the sugar from clinging to your teeth all day. Also, drink a sugary drink quickly. The longer you sip on it, the longer you expose your teeth to decay-causing sugars.
If you are in or near the 70508 area and have a wisdom tooth you would like removed, call our dental office at (337) 237-6453 to schedule an appointment with your Lafayette dentist.