A cavity-free guide

6 tips for your summer BBQ

This summer, kick back at a barbecue with your friends and family. But keep these tips in mind to protect your teeth.

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1. Skip the BBQ sauce

BBQ sauce are typically high in sugar. That's bad news for your teeth. But skipping sugar doesn't have to mean sacrificing flavor. Consider using a sugar-free dry rub to season your meat dishes. For a quick mix, combine salt, black pepper, paprika and garlic.

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2. Rethink your sides

When loading up your plate, go for sides low in sugar and carbs. Roasted veggies make a delicious alternative to carb-rich pasta salad. Or, try out a new salad recipe.

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3. Keep floss (not toothpicks) handy

When the remnants of your steak or corn on the cob end up in your teeth, don't reach for a toothpick. Floss is gentler on your gums and better at getting rid of those annoying bits of food.

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4. Skip the ice

Chewing on ice cubes can cause cracked teeth and damaged enamel. To get the same refreshing effect without a potential dental emergency, just chill your drinks in the fridge or cooler.

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5. Cut back on alcohol

High in sugar and with a tendency to dry out the mouth, alcohol is a quick route to tooth decay. Mix things up by alternating glasses of water with your adult beverages. This trick can lower your chance of cavities — and of waking up the next morning with a headache.

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6. Stay cool with fruitsicles

With no added sugar, these frozen fruit pops are a sweet way to cool down. And they're easy to make. To prepare them, cut up an assortment of fruits into small pieces. Fill paper cups (or a popsicle mold) with fruit (such as kiwi, watermelon and strawberries), place a craft stick in the middle, and then pour with diluted fruit juice. Freeze overnight for a delicious dessert the next day.

Download the summer issue of Grin! as a PDF Download the summer issue of Grin! as a PDF Download the summer issue of Grin! as a PDF