5 BBQ tips for healthy smiles

Backyard BBQs are a chance to unwind and enjoy the warm weather with family and friends. While you’re indulging in summer fun, don’t let the season do a number on your teeth. Try these five tips to keep your smile shining.

BBQ sauce

BBQ sauce usually contains high fructose corn syrup and sticky sugars that can cling to teeth and possibly contribute to tooth decay. Consider other main dishes or recipes with less sugar like a dry rub.

Side dishes

Salad dressings, cold pastas and desserts may contain high levels of sugar. Swish with water after a meal to remove food particles, eat salad with crunchy lettuce to keep unwanted remnants from sticking to teeth or try a new recipe like our watermelon, feta and mint salad. 


A nice juicy steak from the grill can make your mouth water, but when the meal’s done, chances are you’ll have remnants stuck in your teeth. Instead of reaching for a toothpick, choose floss, which is softer and more effective. Not only can toothpicks damage your gums, but you can also experience serious injuries from swallowing them.

Ice cubes

Chewing on ice cubes can cause cracked teeth and damaged enamel. To get the same refreshing effect without a possible tooth emergency, let the ice melt in your mouth or chill your drinks in the fridge before serving them.

Alcoholic beverages

The clink of beer bottles is a cheery sound at backyard get-togethers, but too many alcoholic drinks can hurt your teeth. With large amounts of sugar, some alcohols can lead to tooth decay. Alcohol also causes dehydration, which decreases saliva and prevents bacteria from being washed away. Alternate adult beverages with water to help prevent tooth decay (and possibly a headache the next morning).