Summer Cavity Culprits Revealed

Worst Summer Food for your Teeth 

Westchester County dentist shares top tips for a healthy summer smile

Dr. Sabrina Magid-Katz shares oral health tips

What is better than laying out on a hot summer day with a glass of sparkling water in hand? Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the effect those delicious summer cocktails have on your teeth. 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 summer favorites, but unfortunately, they are also dental health dangers.

Westchester Dentist 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!

Dried Fruit



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.

Gummy Candy

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 extra boost.

Maintain a healthy and beautiful smile all summer long. 

Here are out top tips to ensure a healthy smile, while still being able to make the most of your summer. 


Limit sugar intake: Summertime often means more sugary and acidic drinks, such as soda, sports drinks, and lemonade. Try to limit your intake of these beverages and opt for water instead of sparkling water

Gulping is more beneficial to your teeth than sipping. 

Any drink that is acidic can remove enamel; so, try to stay away from lemon or lime-based cocktails.

Wine is acidic and removes layers of enamel, but if you are a wine enthusiast, white wine is actually more acidic than red.  

Adding a lot of sugar to any drink makes the drink more of a dental problem, so instead use whole fruit as an added sweetener.

What are some common dental problems that can arise during summer?

There are several common dental problems that can arise during the summer:

Dental emergencies: Summer activities such as swimming, amusement parks, sports, and other outdoor activities can increase the risk of dental emergencies such as chipped or knocked-out teeth.

Tooth sensitivity: Many people experience increased sensitivity to hot and cold foods and drinks during the summer which can be caused by consuming excessive amounts of acidic or sugary beverages, or dehydration.

Dry mouth: Hot weather, outdoor activities, and certain medications can cause dry mouth, which can increase the risk of tooth decay and gum disease.

Tooth decay: Increased consumption of sugary drinks and snacks, along with poor oral hygiene can increase the risk of tooth decay.

Oral health tips for summer vacation:

Pack a travel dental kit: Make sure to pack a toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, and mouthwash to maintain good oral hygiene while on vacation.

Keep up with oral hygiene: Even if you’re on vacation, it’s important to maintain good oral hygiene habits. Brush your teeth twice a day and floss at least once a day to remove plaque and food particles from between your teeth.

Drink water: Instead of sugary or acidic drinks, choose water to stay hydrated and keep your mouth moist. 

Protect your teeth: If you are participating in outdoor activities, wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth from injury.

Don’t chew on ice cubes: Ice cubes are tempting to chew on to cool down, but they can also wreak havoc on your teeth. 

Protect your gums from the sun: If you want to avoid gum sensitivity, be sure to use SPF to protect your gums. 

Whiten your teeth: You may want to consider professional teeth whitening before a summer vacation to whiten your smile for vacation photos.

By following these simple tips, you can maintain your oral health routine while enjoying your summer vacation.

What should I do if I experience a dental emergency during summer?

Be sure to act quickly in the event of a dental emergency. 

Contact your dentist: Call your dentist’s office as soon as possible to let them know about the emergency. They can advise you on the next steps to take and may be able to schedule an emergency appointment. If you experience a dental emergency during the summer, it’s important to act immediately. 


If you are planning on traveling this summer, schedule a checkup before you go away. Call the office to book an appointment so your teeth are sparkling and vacation photos ready for all of your selfies.  Are you due for a checkup? Call today to schedule your next appointment! (914) 835-0542.

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  • Advanced Dentistry of Westchester
  • Kenneth S. Magid, DDS, FICD
  • Sabrina Magid-Katz, DMD
  • 163 Halstead Ave. • Harrison, NY 10528
  • (914) 835-0542

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