Simple Ways to Protect Your Teeth This Independence Day


This Fourth of July weekend, many of us will be celebrating with our families and having a good old-fashioned cookout while watching the local fireworks. While dental care may not be at the forefront of your mind this holiday, it’s a good idea to be aware of some of the hidden dangers that could be putting your teeth at risk. While you’re celebrating the red, white, and blue, here are a few tips you can use to keep your teeth healthy, too.

Avoid Crunching the ‘Cubes

Temperatures are usually pretty high during the Fourth of July. One of the best ways to combat the summer heat is to enjoy a cup of ice water. But before you go munching and crunching on the leftover ice at the bottom of your drink, consider letting them melt or holding them against your skin instead. Ice cubes can be too hard for your teeth to safely chew. In fact, you can actually end up chipping or cracking a tooth, causing you to make an unexpected trip to the dentists. That said, keep your ice in your drink and off of your teeth if you can help it.

Choose Water Over Sugary Beverages

Water may not be the most exciting drink of choice on the Fourth of July, but it is the best drink option for many reasons. First, as we mentioned above, temperatures are on the higher side this time of year. It’s important to stay hydrated throughout the day, especially if you’re in the sun, even if you don’t feel like you’re thirsty. We lose a lot of our body’s water during the summer through our sweat, and it’s good to stay hydrated to keep us feeling happy and healthy. Water is also a great drink choice to keep food particles from settling on our teeth and feeding cavity-causing bacteria. Sugary beverages like fruit punch and carbohydrate-heavy beverages like beer can leave a residue on your teeth that these cavity-causing bacteria love.

Avoid Spicing Up Your Water

Another important thing to keep in mind is not to spice up your water by adding carbonation. Sparkling water, both spiked and unspiked, had become incredibly popular in the last year. But sparkling water can actually damage your teeth. While it may not have sugar like soda, the carbonation in sparkling water can increase the natural acidity of your mouth. Over time, this can wear away at your enamel and put you at risk for cavities. At least one in every five Americans has an untreated cavity. Opt for drinking regular ice water to keep your mouth’s acidity levels normal and to stay hydrated and cool throughout the day.

Avoid Using Your Teeth As Tools

Many of us are guilty of using our teeth as tools to open packages. This holiday weekend, be sure to avoid using your teeth to open up those hot dogs and other food packages. Just like with chewing on ice cubes, your teeth aren’t meant to be used on anything but food. Biting a hard surface or pulling too hard on your teeth can cause serious damage including chips and cracks. In some serious cases, you may even loosen or pull out your tooth! That said, use scissors to open packages and other materials this weekend instead of using your teeth.

Brush Your Teeth at the End of the Day

With all the excitement of the Fourth of July, it’s understandable to get sidetracked. But it’s important not to forget to brush your teeth at the end of the day. On holidays like Independence Day, we often eat more carbohydrates like bread and chips and drink more sugary drinks than we usually do. Leaving those food and drink particles on your teeth at the end of the day can be bad news for your dental health. It only takes 24 hours for plaque to turn into tartar, which only your general dentists can remove.

Visit Your Dentist Regularly

If you haven’t made an appointment to visit your Gainesville family dentists yet this summer, now is the right time to do it. Once the holiday weekend is over, be sure to contact your local dentists at Gainesville Dental Associates to schedule a cleaning. We’ll be more than happy to get your teeth back in great shape for the rest of the year. Contact us today to schedule an appointment or for more information about our dental services.