Make your summer party oral health-friendly

As summer heats up, the ADA's consumer-friendly website,, has compiled a list of seven tips that may keep summer party guests happy and also protect their oral health.

The suggestions include:

  • Ditch potato chips for a vegetable and fruit platter. Some of these healthier foods are like natural toothbrushes that can scrub build-up off of teeth and stimulate saliva. The saliva can help wash away chewed-up food, giving bacteria less of a chance to make a meal from your teeth, which can lead to cavities.
  • Replace toothpicks with soft, flexible wooden plaque removers, or dental picks, as a way to keep guests from piercing their gums or getting splinters.
  • Use crushed ice instead of cubed ice — or even better, use no ice at all and instead put cans and bottles in a tub of ice to keep cool. Crunching on ice cubes can lead to broken teeth and can damage enamel. Drink fluoridated water when possible, which is the best beverage for maintaining oral health.
  • Swap bowls of mints for sugar-free gum. Studies using gum with the ADA Seal show that chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes after meals may help prevent tooth decay.
  • Don't skimp on dairy. Foods like yogurt and cheese are low in sugar and rich in calcium and phosphorus, which strengthen and protect tooth enamel. Other phosphorus-rich foods include meat, poultry, fish and eggs.
  • Choose seedless fruits and bread buns without sesame or poppy seeds to prevent food from getting stuck in guests' teeth.
  • For more information about oral health and nutrition, including what to eat and what to avoid for healthy teeth; what to eat when you're having dental issues; ways to reduce sugary snacking; and why water is the best drink for your teeth, visit

    © 2017 American Dental Association. All rights reserved. Reproduction or republication is strictly prohibited without the prior written permission from the American Dental Association.

This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.

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Tips for a Healthy Diet

  • Foods high in sugar are a particularly common cause of tooth decay. Making these foods a treat rather than a staple will help protect your teeth.

  • To maintain a balanced diet, eat a variety of foods from each of the five major food groups.

  • When choosing a snack, go for nutritious foods such as cheese, raw vegetables, plain yogurt or a piece of fruit.