America loves football. Florida is a football-crazed state, both in terms of players and fans. And Jacksonville? We might just be the craziest of the bunch.

Now our office is as excited as anyone else for this upcoming season, but we also know that more football on TV means more chances to snack on junk foods that could do damage to your overall and oral health. So in this post, we wanted to call out some of the most problematic snacks on the game day menu and offer healthy alternatives.

Avoid Soda and Sports Drinks

They contain sugars and citric acid that directly translates to tooth decay. They contain dyes and coloring agents that stain your teeth. Studies have shown how soda consumption increases risks of cancer and obesity. The Academy of General Dentistry has even said it could be as damaging to teeth as methamphetamine and crack cocaine if enough of it is consumed. And unfortunately, both soda and sports drinks are staples in many homes – especially during football season.

The added danger is that sipping these beverages over a long period of time (a whole football game for example) gives the sugars even more time to activate enamel-eroding bacteria in your mouth.

Drink Water Instead

An image of a bottle of soda and chips.

Soda and chips: game day mainstays that wreak havoc on teeth.

The solution is simple: a refreshing glass of tap water. It provides all the nutrients and hydration your body needs, contains cavity-fighting fluoride, and helps combat obesity.

Avoid Salted Chips

They may be tasty, but salty chips are notorious for clinging to teeth. They get mashed into the nooks and crannies and can stay there for a long time. This stimulates cavity-causing bacteria. They’re also commonly linked to weight gain, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.

Healthy Chip Alternatives

Unsalted whole-wheat pretzels and air-popped popcorn are low-fat, low-calorie options that also provide extra fiber, making them better snack choices than chips. Other healthy alternatives include low-sodium, baked vegetable chips or apple chips.

Avoid Bulky Sandwich Bread

Another football favorite is the overstuffed sandwich: two fluffy pieces of white bread containing all kinds of meats, cheeses, veggies, and dressings. What many people don’t realize is that the bread – especially the processed white bread favored by many sandwich shops – contains sugar and added sweeteners that breed mouth bacteria. Bread is also sticky and gets between and behind your teeth.

 Try Whole Wheat Wraps Instead

Whole wheat tortillas contain nutrients such as fiber and B vitamins, while leaving out the high sugar content of white bread. There are also fewer calories in the wrap and higher protein content.

For More Ideas

We hope you enjoy this upcoming football season, no matter if you’re a fan of the Jaguars, Dolphins, Seminoles, Gators, or any other team. If you live in the Jacksonville area and want suggestions on healthy options to put on your game day menu, please feel free to contact our office. We’ll be happy to add our two cents.