Summer is a time for pool parties and BBQ’s, but it is important to keep those pearly whites
healthy too! Chips, sodas and sugary drinks are favorites of many people, but are also dental
health dangers. Dr. Sabrina Magid-Katz of Advanced Dentistry of Westchester shares the top
cavity culprits to look out for this summer as well as her favorite healthy substitutes.
When people think of summer, they often think of lemonade. What they may not think about is
how sipping on this refreshing drink is affecting their teeth. Not only does the sugar in lemonade
feed the bacteria in your mouth, but even the sugar-free lemonades have acid. It’s the acid that
actually causes tooth wear and decay. “When people talk about sugar causing cavities, what really
happens is that the bacteria eat the sugar and produce acid which erodes the teeth. It takes
approximately 20 minutes for your mouth to recover from the acid, so how often you sip or snack
is actually more important to your teeth than how much,” says Dr. Magid-Katz. For a healthy
substitute, try cucumber-infused water instead. It’s just as refreshing on a hot summer day and
good for you too!
Summer is a great time for fruit! Make sure to opt for fresh fruit instead of dried. Not only are
many types of fruit in season now, but eating them fresh is a much healthier alternative. The dried
fruit is sticky and holds on to your teeth for extended periods of time, constantly feeding the
bacteria in your mouth and causing cavities. When eating any kind of fruit (or any food at all for
that matter) beware of hidden pits that can break teeth and seeds that can hide under your gums
and in the grooves of your teeth. Be sure to brush and floss thoroughly to keep the seeds out!
While gummy candy can be tempting this summer, it is one of the top cavity culprits! Be sure to
avoid sticky candies and sour candies. “Sour candies get their sour taste from acid, which
dissolves teeth,” says Dr. Magid-Katz. The sticky part of the candy sits on teeth and feeds
bacteria. Go for the dark chocolate instead of the sour patch kids. Also avoid fruit by the foot.
Fruit by the foot is many things, but fruit isn’t one of them. It is like gluing sugar to your teeth.
“Healthy” sticky snacks
Granola and raisins are considered “healthy” snacks that are actually dental dangers. These
snacks are prone to sticking to teeth and contain substances that help keep bacteria in the mouth.
As a healthy alternative this summer, opt for a less sticky “healthy” snack such as celery. Celery
has lots of fiber and water, which is good for your whole body. Try some nut butter on it for an