The Super Bowl is upon us, GO HAWKS!   I am writing in efforts of contributing to your good dental health.  We at North Seattle Restorative & Preventative Dentistry, your local dentist in Kenmore, are eager to keep you out of dental harm’s way while you cheer on Russell Wilson, Kearse & Willson make spectacular receptions, watch Marshawn shrug-off defenders, cheer on Sherman who IS the best, catch your dropping jaw as Chancellor hurdles the pack to sack Brady, and hoot-holler after Bennett’s belly dance.

1. Do you open bags of tortillas with your teeth?  We know it’s an easy habit and a lot of people don’t realize that they even do it.  However, this habit makes dentists cringe!  Using your teeth as a tool to open something can cause cracks and chips pretty easily.  Your teeth should only be used for eating!

2. Fruit juice is great for us in moderation. It’s loaded with natural sugars, vitamins and antioxidants that our bodies need on a daily basis.  Unfortunately, some of these juices have as much sugar per serving as a soda – we’re not joking! Look for juice that has no added sugar. After all, fruit is naturally sweet.  After a tasty glass of juice be sure to rinse your mouth out with a glass of water.

3. Potato chips may be delicious, but they can wreak havoc on your teeth.  My own personal favorite alternative is pretzel chips dipped in a blend of cheese, fennel, and white beans as my munching snack for the Hawk Games — GO HAWKS!   Just be aware, however, that as sticky foods get caught between your teeth, the normal flora in your mouth (the bacteria within plaque) breaks down these sticky, starchy foods into acids that can attack your teeth after you’ve stopped eating your delicious snack.  Plaque forms within 6 hours and it begins to precipitate into hard calculus in 2 days.   Try pretzel chips or pita chips as an alternative to potato chips because they tend to stick to your teeth less so you don’t have to focus on your teeth and can instead focus on the game!

4. Nutritionists recommend eating small amounts throughout the day for a healthy lifestyle.  However, snacking leaves bits of food in your teeth for hours.  Also, snacking produces less saliva than the saliva produced with a meal (think back to Psychology 101, Pavlovian conditioning of a dog response to bells at feeding time).  Here’s the compromise: snack within reason!  Try rinsing with water before and after snacking, and keep your snacking to only 2-4 times a day instead of snacking throughout the day.  When you do snack, try foods that are low in sugar like sliced thin carrots, cut-up apples and bananas.  The small “Cutie” oranges are better than juices,  blended nuts with oil can be a healthy butter for your toasts, and a hard-boiled egg can carry you through your afternoon better than munching away on pretzels.  Another option is to eat only green and blue snacks and brush after the game — GO HAWKS!