It’s Time for Fireworks, Fun and Family!
We celebrate American Independence Day on the Fourth of July every year. We think of July 4, 1776, as a day that represents the Declaration of Independence and the birth of the United States of America as an independent nation. But July 4, 1776 wasn’t the day that the Continental Congress decided to declare independence (they did that on July 2, 1776).
The Continental Congress approved the final wording of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. They’d been working on it for a couple of days after the draft was submitted on July 2nd and finally agreed on all of the edits and changes.
July 4, 1776, became the date that was included on the Declaration of Independence, and the handwritten copy that was signed in August (the copy now displayed at the National Archives in Washington, D.C.) It’s also the date that was printed on the Dunlap Broadsides, the original printed copies of the Declaration that were circulated throughout the new nation. So when people thought of the Declaration of Independence, July 4th was the date they remembered.
Almost a hundred years after the Declaration was written, Congress first declared July 4th to be a national holiday as part of a bill to officially recognize several holidays, including Christmas. Further legislation about national holidays, including July 4th, was passed in 1939 and 1941.
While you are celebrating, it’s easy to engage in some not-so-tooth-friendly activities. To help you avoid a dental disaster, here are 4 tips to stay safe while celebrating.
1. Make Healthy Eating Choices
Yes, it’s time for barbecues frosty cocktails, but try to eat some fruits and vegetables too. A balanced diet will not only help your teeth, but keep your waistline in check as well. Foods high in sugar and starch can cause tooth decay. Starchy foods like pretzels, chips and crackers may not taste sweet; but combined with the bacteria in your mouth, they break down into sugars and attack your teeth. Healthy foods for your teeth are not all that hard to find and tasty too!
2. Water, Water, and More Water
Hot July days make us sweat. Replenish the fluids in your body with water rather than sweet, sugary drinks like juices and sodas – the added sugar can increase plaque on your teeth and the acids eat away at the enamel. Water, however, cleans your mouth with every sip. It washes away leftover food and residue that cavity-causing bacteria are looking for. It also dilutes the acids produced by the bacteria in your mouth.
3. Chew Sugarless Gum
Don’t have time to brush your teeth during your July 4th celebration? Chew a piece of sugarless gum. It can help produce saliva in your mouth, which can wash away food particles and protect your teeth. Pick a gum with xylitol. Studies have shown xylitol interferes with the production of bacteria in your mouth.
4. Your Teeth are NOT a Bottle Opener
For goodness sake, please don’t use your teeth to pull the cap off that beer bottle! You can break a tooth – which is not only a painful problem for your mouth, but a painful problem for your wallet. A broken tooth might require a root canal and crown…or it even may have to be pulled. Save your teeth for smiling instead!