Summer means warm weather, vacation, and decadent treats like ice cream and popsicles. Though we don’t think you should always deprive yourself of delicious summer sweets, we do recommend eating them in moderation. As your friendly neighborhood dental office, we’ve put together this list of mouth-healthy summertime treats to eat instead of ice cream every day.
Watermelon is perhaps the perfect summer snack for your teeth. Composed of 92% water and high in vitamin C, watermelon will keep you hydrated while stimulating your salivary flow. Saliva is incredibly important to your dental health because it neutralizes acids in your mouth and washes away food bacteria, thereby preventing tooth decay and other oral health issues. So grab a few slices of watermelon to cool down with this sweet treat that won’t harm your teeth.
Summertime means that berries are in season! Berries like blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries are a yummy and healthy treat. They contain cancer-fighting antioxidants and vitamin C, as well as beneficial phytonutrients that promote healing, decrease gum inflammation, and even keep you hydrated. Eat berries by themselves, put them in your oatmeal and smoothies, or pair them with another healthy treat like yogurt. However, keep in mind that berries are slightly acidic and can temporarily soften your enamel, so be sure to drink plenty of water when eating them and wait to brush your teeth for at least an hour so your enamel has time to re-harden.
Yogurt is another great summer treat that is good for your teeth. Full of vitamins and minerals, packed with probiotics, and high in calcium, yogurt is almost like a healthy alternative to ice cream. But watch out for its sugar content! Some yogurts contain as much sugar as a bottle of soda. Make sure to buy yogurt that is low in sugar, plain, or unsweetened. If that seems a little boring to you, top your yogurt with nuts, low-sugar granola, and fresh fruit like berries, pineapple, and mango. Adding a dash of cinnamon and vanilla can also help satisfy your sweet tooth. And if you’re craving something a little closer to ice cream, make some frozen yogurt pops to beat the heat!
Check out our May blog post for more tooth-healthy snack suggestions. Remember that both a healthy diet and biannual professional dental checkups are vital to maintaining exceptional oral health. Contact us to schedule your next appointment at our office!