Super Bowl Do's & Don'ts - Snacks You and Your Teeth Will Love
Popular Super Bowl snacks can wreak havoc on your teeth!
Here's our do's and don’ts for snacking during the big game -
Next Sunday, almost every American will gather in their living rooms across the country to do something incredibly rare: watch live television!
Only something as big as the 53rd Super Bowl gets Americans of all ages in front of their TV's at the same time. And the Super Bowl is a big event; in fact, it is our country’s most-watched sporting event - drawing an average 112 million viewers each year!
It is also an event that draws millions of amateur athletes competing in the event of snack-eating. On average, an individual Super Bowl-watcher will consume about 2,400 calories in snacks and beverages.
That’s well above the allotted daily calorie needs for most adults.
The nerves of a close game... the celebratory nature of being with friends and family... it’s okay to indulge occasionally and the Super Bowl is a great excuse, but being in the business of oral health, we do think it’s important to choose wisely how you will spend those 2,400 calories.
Most of us are generally aware of what foods are healthy and which ones aren’t - however, most of us only measure the health of a food based on its caloric value. We believe it’s important to consider the overall health benefits of a food - including how it will affect your mouth. Some foods are worse for your teeth and gums than others, and shouldn’t be consumed in Super Bowl-sized portions.
This Super Bowl, think twice about what you’re reaching for on the snack table.
Here are a few dos and donts for mouth-healthy snacks this weekend:
- Don’t - Chips
We know, how is this even possible? Chips are a staple for most Super Bowl spreads! Houston-based pediatric dentists Natalie Harrison and Steve Hogan explain: “Unfortunately, starches like chips are terrible for teeth and contribute to tooth decay by wearing down enamel. This occurs when starch metabolizes into sugar, which is a breeding ground for bacteria that eats away at tooth enamel.”
- Do - Veggies & Dip
Just because you can’t have chips, doesn’t mean you can’t have your dip! The ADA actually provided a list of mouth-healthy snacks for game day. At the top? Spicy jalapeno dip made with low-fat sour cream, served with raw veggies like carrots and celery.
Dr. Sheryl Hunter Griffith and Dr. Elizabeth Chen, the dentists who put together the list, say, “Carrots contain beta-carotene that your body uses to create vitamin A, which works to build strong teeth. The sour cream in this dip gives your teeth a boost of calcium, which also helps to keep your teeth strong.”
- Don’t - Hot Wings
This is another no-no from Drs. Harrison and Hogan. “The average spicy hot wing is made from buffalo sauce which contains a PH level of 2.8 - which is nearly as acidic as a lemon!” they say. “Exposed acid attacks on teeth can decimate enamel and leave them vulnerable to tooth decay.”
That’s probably something you didn’t know about chicken wings. Just say no to the spicy, high-acidic foods this Sunday.
- Do - The Cheese Tray
This is another snack recommended by the ADA: “Cheese is a tooth powerhouse, with tons of tooth strengthening calcium and a protein called casein, which is amazingly effective in protecting the surface of your teeth.”
- Don’t - Soda
This one should be obvious, but in case you didn’t know, soda is bad for your teeth! “Soda and other carbonated beverages are loaded with sugar and other additives that can slowly destroy teeth,” say Drs. Harrison and Hogan.
- Do - Unsweetened Tea
More interesting than water, not nearly as damaging as soda, unsweetened tea is a mouth-friendly way to satisfy your beverage craving while watching the game. Some studies even show that brewed unsweetened tea, especially green tea, can make your teeth stronger!
Don’t deprive yourself this Super Bowl!
Just be smart.
Think about the benefits for your mouth and your waistline, and we know you’ll have a happy and healthy Super Bowl - without the belly and toothaches that so often follow it.