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All throughout McAllen and the Rio Grande Valley, firework stands are opening up and replenishing their stock, people are walking out of grocery stores with carts chock-full of meat and charcoal, and bakeries are churning out red, white, and blue cupcakes by the dozens.

While all of this may spell a good time with the family and friends on Independence Day, it could also mean bad news for your teeth.

We here at WhiteWing Dentistry in McAllen have a few tips and tricks on how to avoid costly dental repair should this year’s festivities cause damage to your teeth.

Watch What You Eat

It’s no secret that refined sugars not only add to your waistline, but they also wear down your teeth.

When sugar is consumed in a large quantity, decay-causing bacteria have a feast and produce acids that eat away at the enamel of your teeth. The bacteria mixes with saliva and causes that filmy gunk on your teeth known as plaque. This can ultimately lead to cavities.

So when you’re barbecuing this 4th of July, beware that extra sweet barbecue sauce. These condiments often have a lot of sugar in them.

If you’ve got to have barbecue sauce, use one that has been sweetened with honey or brown sugar. Also, take caution when biting down or chewing on bones. This is an easy way to damage or chip your teeth.

Hard candies and soda pop should be avoided as well, as hard candies are loaded with sugar and the hardness can chip your teeth, while soda has a lot of sugar and acids that can wreck your teeth.

All isn’t lost, though, when it comes to chomping down on some delicious Independence Day cuisine. Opting for healthier alternatives like seasonal fruits or natural fruit juices should be embraced. They can curb that craving for something sweet but aren’t nearly as bad for your teeth as their heavily refined sugar counterparts.

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If by chance you do treat yourself during the holiday, brushing your teeth immediately after can minimize damage done to your teeth.

Avoid Roughhousing and Horseplay

Pool parties are popular during the summer months – and especially on July 4th – because of the heat that South Texas experiences. As fun as a day at the pool can be, if our children are not careful and not adhering to pool rules, an accident can happen that could cause thousands of dollars of damage to their teeth, or worse.

If the rules state that there is no diving, it’s for a good reason. Diving into shallow water can cause a lot more damage than missing teeth and a broken nose.

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If contact sports are on your celebration agenda, always wear safety equipment like a mouth piece and helmet. Together they will protect your head, and also those pearly whites, from harm.

Also, be careful with fireworks. Although it is never recommended to ignite a firecracker anywhere near your face, much less your teeth, adhere to basic guidelines to avoid injury. Light your firework and quickly walk several feet away. When safety guidelines are properly taken, a fireworks show is always a welcome sight compared to a hospital gurney.

Brush and Floss Regularly

In tandem, brushing and flossing daily can decrease the number of microbial species that cause periodontal diseases such as gingivitis. The decrease of these microbial species also reduces the risk of cavities, tooth loss, and plaque.

WhiteWing Dentistry wishes everyone a spectacular 4th of July.

WhiteWing Dentistry takes pride in being your family dentistry.

Scheduling regular cleanings with us can help keep that smile beaming. Preparing your teeth before Independence Day with a cleaning can minimize damage caused by plaque build up.

Schedule an appointment here with our amazing dentists at WhiteWing Dental in McAllen today by contacting us at (956) 686-5577.