|Dr. Aland's son enjoys some tasty ribs, fresh from the grill.|
Popcorn -- Many families love to visit the drive-in movies during the summer. Experiences like that create memories to last a lifetime! Popcorn is the perfect snack to occupy your teeth while enjoying a good flick, however, beware of those pesky popcorn kernels that get caught in the little nooks and crannies of your gums. Popcorn husks can be thin enough to lodge under your gums, making it extremely difficult to remove them by brushing alone. Flossing after a popcorn snack is essential to maintaining optimal oral health.
Berries -- Summer is berry season, but the seeds from eating nature's dessert can be a nuisance. Did you know the average raspberry has 120 seeds, which can jam into the grooves of your molars? Like ribs and popcorn kernels, flossing is the best way to remove them and ensure healthy gums. With that being said, berries rank among the most antioxidant-rich fruits. Feel free to eat as many berries as you want, just make sure to remove the seeds in your teeth when you're done.
Flossing vs. Toothpicks -- Traditional dental floss is the best way to remove food that has become lodged between your teeth. Floss sticks are a convenient alternative that you can keep in your purse or car. Toothpicks are another convenient alternative, but are generally not recommended due to the damage they can cause to your teeth and gums. They can lacerate your gums, causing them to bleed, or scrape away the protective enamel on your teeth. If a toothpick is all you have access to, use it with care and all should be well.
With these tips and this preventative info., you (and your teeth,) can enjoy a safe and healthy summer! If someone asks you "got teeth?" you can say, "Yes I do!"