Each October, North Carolinians from all around the state collect together in Cary and Raleigh to enjoy two weeks of fun-filled rides, delicious food, and homegrown entertainment. Celebrating its 150th year anniversary, the North Carolina State Fair celebrates local agricultural achievements, while creating everlasting memories for all ages.
Each year, we hear about the new upcoming and returning fan favorite fair foods, but we never consider the health effects. Here are a list of our favorite fair foods and the do’s and don’ts:
When it comes to fair, the first thing that usually comes to mind is funnel cake. Sweet, deep fried battered dough topped with a sweet confection of powdered sugar, gelatinous strawberries, sweetened apples, and even delicious hot fudge.
One of this year’s most anticipated fan favorite is the Cheerwine funnel cake. Only found in the southeast, Cheerwine is made and distributed here in the tar heel state, so it only makes sense that it would be featured at the North Carolina State Fair. However, as delicious as they may be, they are filled with sugar that can scientifically contribute to tooth decay and require a deep cleaning and possible fillings to resolve.
Giant Turkey Leg
Okay, let’s admit it. We’ve all had it. The infamous giant turkey leg that you can grab at the beginning of the fair and eat it until the very end. Widely known as a fan favorite fair food, these one-and-a-half pound dinosaur-sized turkey legs are smoked and seared to tasty perfection, but they are filled with sodium and preservatives. Though the salt itself only slightly affects the enamel of your teeth, it is the processed food bacteria and simple sugars that contribute to issues with your teeth and its enamel.
Deep Fried Everything
When it comes to the fair, we want everything deep fried. From cheeseburgers, butter, pumpkin pies, chocolate pies, and even apple pies; there is a certain fascination when it comes to deep fried fair foods. However, just because it is good for your soul, doesn’t mean it is good for you. Deep-fried foods are full of fat, sodium and preservatives that can be harmful to your teeth. The sweet preservatives can speed up tooth decay and the leftover food debris can hide in the gum pockets; leading to gingivitis or tooth loss.
Summer never ends at the North Carolina State Fair with roasted corn. Sweet, savory North Carolina white corn is a hit at the State Farmer’s Market, so they’ll be a hit as a fair food. Slow roasted inside its own husk, a sweet corn is a delicious option for any fair attendee. On top of being delicious, corn is full of heart-healthy nutrients that can help lower your cholesterol and make you less prone to diabetes, which affects your body’s ability to process sugars.
According to the American Dental Association, increase the sugar in the body can cause people with diabetes to be more prone to gum disease or “gingivitis”; therefore, eating a good heart-healthy vegetable like corn can be very helpful, as long as it isn’t slathered in butter, which can cause the reverse effective.
When it comes to the fair, candy apples are up there with the must-haves for any fairgoer. A tasty hard sugar-coated layer over a delicious red Macintosh apple seems to be every kid’s wish list; however, candy apples are every parent’s nightmare.
One bite is all it takes. Due to the hard-sugary outer layer, candied apples are one fair food that can land someone a one-way ticket to the Cary emergency dentist with a broken or chipped tooth.
What Fair Foods to eat at NC State Fair?
For the past 150 years, the North Carolina State Fair has been creating memories for friends and families, but enjoying the fun fair food doesn’t have to be harmful to your teeth. When it comes to the do’s and don’ts of the fair food, pick foods that are rich in nutrients and not harmful to your teeth. However, if you need to eat the sweet temptations, eating them in moderation is the best way to keeping your teeth healthy, but just in case, after the state fair, contact our Cary NC dental office at 919-467-0654 to schedule an appointment for deep teeth cleaning to remove plaque and debris.