March Madness: Protecting your pearly whites from disaster

A teenager basketball player over a white backgroundA March Madness get together will have plenty of snacks, but you can enjoy the party while protecting your teeth. We’ve put together a few tasty game day snacking ideas so that while you’re out watching the games, you can keep your teeth healthy and strong. Of course, regardless of what you eat, don’t forget to brush!

The best food choices for the health of your mouth include cheeses, chicken or other meats, nuts, and milk. These foods protect tooth enamel by providing the calcium and phosphorus needed to remineralize teeth (a natural process by which minerals are re-deposited in tooth enamel after being removed by acids), so when you’re hitting the snack table in between quarters, keep an eye out for the nuts and cheese.

Other great choices include firm or crunchy fruits (for example, apples and pears) and vegetables. The water in these foods dilutes the effects of the sugars they contain and eating them stimulates the flow of saliva, which helps protect against decay. Look for the apples, carrots and cucumbers in the snack line.

Of course, great oral hygiene habits are crucial for good health. Follow these tips to make your routine solid :

  • Brush your teeth regularly. Brush at least twice a day and preferably 30-60 minutes after every meal and snack.
  • Use a fluoride-containing toothpaste.
  • Floss at least once a day.
  • Use a mouth rinse daily.
  • Visit your dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings—typically twice a year.

If you or your child’s a member of an organized sports league, be sure to wear your mouthguard. Because accidents can happen during any physical activity, wearing a mouthguard during sports helps limit the risk of mouth-related injuries to your lips, tongue, and soft tissues of your mouth. Custom mouth guards also help you avoid chipped or broken teeth, nerve damage to a tooth, or even tooth loss.