If you remember high school English class, you may have read a Shakespeare play called Julius Caesar. That’s where the phrase “the ides of March” came from, meaning a gloomy month when several negative events seemed to occur at the same time each year. However, you might associate march with something positive – like all of the holidays that come with yummy food! These foods might be delicious, but they can pose a risk to your dental health if you’re not careful. Here are a few March holidays to watch out for – and how to celebrate them without putting your smile in harm’s way.
National Peanut Butter Lovers’ Day
Peanut butter is an incredibly popular “healthy” snack. As protein-rich as it is, though, it also contains more sugar than you might expect. It also sticks to your teeth, giving bacteria in your mouth ample time to use that sugar to cause cavities. After you enjoy some peanut butter (preferably a reduced-sugar variety), make sure to brush your teeth or at least rinse your mouth with water.
National Pi Day
Maybe you didn’t pay much attention in English class because you preferred math. If that’s the case, you probably already know about National Pi Day on 3/14. While this holiday refers to the number, many people use this day as an opportunity to purchase or bake pies. These desserts are certainly scrumptious, but they’re not exactly healthy.
The more sugar a pie has, the worse it is for your teeth. If you can, use a recipe with carrots, bananas, yogurt, or other foods that at least provide nutrients that can benefit your oral health. Try to avoid acidic citrus fruits too, as they can erode your tooth enamel and lead to sensitivity.
St. Patrick’s Day
Of course, the most widely known March holiday is St. Patrick’s Day on the 17th. Whether you’re celebrating with friends at a bar or staying home, you might be tempted to try one of those green novelty beers. They’re a fun way to celebrate, but they can easily leave your teeth stained green. Avoid this beer (or drink water afterward) if you don’t want to have to get a professional teeth whitening treatment afterward.
As fun as these March holidays are, your teeth are grateful that they only come once a year! For more tips on enjoying these occasions without jeopardizing your smile, ask your dentist.
About the Author
Dr. Gary C. Nawrocki is a dentist in Cocoa Beach, FL with 40+ years of experience. In addition to being a Diplomate of the International Congress of Oral Implantologists, he is also a Master of the Academy of General Dentistry, demonstrating his dedication to advanced dental training and continuing education. To learn more about keeping your smile healthy throughout March and beyond, visit Dr. Nawrocki’s website or call his office at (321) 783-7514.