Ways to Keep Tailgates Tooth-Friendly

Posted on October 7, 2014 in General oral health

When the days get a little shorter and the weather gets a bit crisp, it can only mean one thing – tailgating! (You thought we were going to say, “fall is here,” didn't you?) Whether you're grilling in a stadium parking lot or just having some friends over to watch the big game, here are a few tips to keep your tailgate event tooth-friendly.

Though hamburgers and hot dogs tend to be tailgating staples, it would be a touchdown for your teeth if you opted for grilling vegetables, fish, and lean meats instead.[1] Lean red meat contains iron, which is beneficial for your oral health. (An iron deficiency can actually lead to sores on the inside of your mouth.) Chicken[2] and turkey[3] both contain niacin. A lack of niacin can result in bad breath and mouth sores.

If you don't grill veggies, consider a raw vegetable tray instead. Fiber-rich vegetables stimulate saliva flow, which washes sugars and bacteria away from your teeth, helping to prevent cavities.[4] Carrots and broccoli are particularly high in fiber.[5]

Crackers and cheese are always popular options, and there's no reason not to enjoy them at your healthy tailgate. Cheese is a good source of calcium, which helps put minerals back in your teeth. When you choose crackers for your tray, try to find some that are whole-grain or whole-wheat.[6]

As for sweet treats, bypass the typical fare like gooey brownies and sugar-packed cookies. If baked goods aren't your thing, sliced fruit with a healthy yogurt dip also makes a great alternative.

If you do decide to indulge in some football fare that's not so healthy, be sure to brush afterward – or at least swish with a little water if you don't happen to have a toothbrush handy. Happy tailgating! 

[1] http://oralhealth.deltadental.com/Search/22,21457
[2] http://oralhealth.deltadental.com/Search/22,21457
[3] http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=nutrient&dbid=83
[4] http://oralhealth.deltadental.com/Search/22,21457
[5] http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/50-fiber-rich-foods?page=2
[6] http://oralhealth.deltadental.com/Search/22,Delta34