Today is the official opening day of Major League Baseball, with the Houston Astros playing against the New York Yankees today. From Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas to Fenway, Park in Boston, Massachusetts, concession stands offer many unique foods to enjoy during the games.
Here are 4 concession stand foods generally offered at stadiums that can harm your teeth, along with some alternative options that are better for your dental health.
A Drink with Ice Cubes
One of the most damaging foods for teeth is ice. Even though they’re made out of water, chewing on ice cubes can crack or break your teeth.
Enamel is the protective outer layer of your teeth. Chewing on ice can wear down the enamel on your teeth and can even chip off or break through the enamel. A broken tooth can be incredibly painful and if the crack extends beyond the gumline, the tooth must be removed.
As an alternative, try chewing sugarfree gum. Dentists recommend chewing sugar-free gum to help stimulate saliva, which washes away food particles that can lead to tooth decay.
If you need a good crunch, opt for an apple or a bag of carrots. These healthy foods offer the same crunch as ice, but are much softer and work to help scrub the surfaces of your teeth.
The bacteria in your mouth feed off the sugars in the foods you eat, producing acid that breaks down your enamel. Candy that is chewy, like Skittles and Starbursts, sticks to your teeth for longer periods of time.
This allows the bacteria in your mouth more time to produce more of the harmful acid, increasing your risk of tooth decay.
A snack that’s often overlooked is dried fruit; the stickiness of dried fruit has the same effect on your teeth that chewy candy does.
If you’ve got a sweet tooth, opt for fresh fruit, sugar-free hard candy, or dark chocolate. Some studies have shown dark chocolate to have compounds that help strengthen enamel and fight plaque.
As good as white bread may be, this type of bread is made of simple carbs, which break down into sugars. Sugars are the fuel for the bacteria in your mouth that produce the enamel-destroying acids.
Instead of a burger on white bread or a hotdog on a white bun, opt for whole-wheat bread. Although whole-wheat bread has sugar and will stick to your teeth like white bread, the bacteria in your mouth don’t grow as quickly when you eat foods made from whole grains.
The starch in potato chips breaks down into sugars. When you eat chips, the pieces that stick in your teeth provide the ideal environment for bacteria to produce the acid that leads to tooth decay.
If you need a crunch, nuts may be a good option for you. Many nuts, like peanuts and almonds, are full of vitamins and minerals that are good for your dental health. However, almonds can be hard on the teeth, so be careful when chewing on them.
There are many concession stand foods that are both delicious and good for your teeth. An important part of dental health is knowing which foods are best for your teet. Remember to maintain a good dental routine as well; brush twice a day, floss once a day, and visit your dentist every six months.
For more information or to schedule a dental appointment, contact Greenspoint Dental in Houston, Texas. We are dedicated to providing you and your loved ones with the best dental care.