Choose smile-friendly options
It can be easy to let oral health care go out the window when you’re going out to eat, but taking care of your teeth is always important. These are a few things that you should remember for maintaining healthy teeth when dining out.
1. Be Careful About What You Drink
First and foremost, when you sit down and order your beverage, it’s important for you to think about your pearly whites. The most tooth-healthy choice is water, since tea, soda and other beverages can all stain your teeth.
If you must sip on something that could stain your pearly whites, make sure that you use a straw, which can help the beverage bypass your teeth as much as possible. Even if you are drinking another beverage, consider asking for a glass of water. Taking sips of water throughout your meal will help rinse away staining foods and beverages, as well as damaging acid from foods.
2. Choose Teeth-healthy Foods
Some foods are certainly more teeth-healthy than others. These are a few things to keep in mind when ordering:
- Sticky or hard foods can be bad news if you have braces or dentures. Even if you don’t have braces or dentures, you should know that sticky foods are often sugary and can harm your teeth, and hard foods can cause you to break or chip a tooth if you aren’t careful.
- Foods with brightly colored sauces, such as spaghetti with marinara sauce or cheesecake with blueberry sauce, can stain your teeth, so be sure to rinse with water after eating them.
- Citrus fruits can erode your teeth, so consume lemons, oranges, limes and other acidic foods in moderation.
3. Rinse Out Your Mouth
You probably won’t be able to brush your teeth right after eating like you would at home, but it can be beneficial to at least rinse out your mouth. As mentioned above, sipping on a glass of water while you’re enjoying your meal can help with keeping your mouth properly rinsed out, but it’s still a good idea to step into the restroom and quickly rinse with water. Rinsing can help get rid of any food particles and staining agents in food, as well as stimulate saliva production and help freshen up your breath after your meal.
If you want to take things up a notch, you can even try keeping a travel-sized toothbrush or bottle of mouthwash in your purse, pocket or car so that you can quickly rinse out your mouth or brush your teeth. This step generally isn’t necessary for occasional dining trips out but is a good idea if you eat out frequently.
4. Enjoy a Piece of Sugar-Free Gum
One great way to freshen up your breath, help work any food particles from between your teeth and help encourage your mouth to produce saliva (which is your mouth’s natural defense against bacteria) is to chew on a piece of sugar-free gum. Some sugar-free gums even include mouth-healthy ingredients, such as xylitol, which can help kill bacteria and can even help whiten your teeth and strengthen your enamel.
Even though it is easy to let your oral care routine slip when you’re dining out, it’s important to keep the health of your teeth and gums in mind at all times. Luckily, following these tips can help. If you are looking for dental care that you can trust, contact us today to schedule an appointment.