Summer has finally arrived, and that means it is time to head outside and enjoy sunny days and warm breezes. For many of us, summertime memories are shaped by favorite seasonal treats. After all, who doesn’t look forward to that first big slice of watermelon or a taste of homemade ice cream? However, it is important to know that certain summer foods can be bad for your teeth. Fortunately, a multitude of tasty alternatives are available, and can keep you on track for a happy and healthy summer season!
Sugary Foods Cause Tooth Decay
One of the most impactful steps that you can take to boost your dental health is to eliminate sugary foods from your diet. Many of the treats that we associate with summer vacation are packed full of added sugars and other harmful ingredients. For example, soda and sports drinks are often loaded with sugar. Even worse, when you drink those beverages straight from the bottle, those sugars come into direct contact with the surface of your teeth. That can lead to increased bacterial growth, which can cause cavities. A far healthier alternative is to drink plain water, which provides much-needed hydration without any added sugars. There are also a number of low or no-sugar beverage options on the market, but be sure to read the labels to avoid unwanted sweeteners or caffeine.
Popsicles and Shaved Ice Treats
These cold treats are summer favorites and for a good reason. They provide an excellent source of hydration and are great for hot days to help fight off the heat. That said, many popsicles and shaved ice treats have a massive sugar content. Excessive sugar is a serious issue in the North American diet and has a number of negative effects on dental health and overall wellness. Fortunately, more and more companies are creating options that provide the same level of enjoyment, but with no added sugars. Many of these popsicles and other frozen treats are sweetened with real fruit, and some even contain whole chunks of fruit in addition to the juice. When enjoying a frozen treat, be sure to avoid chewing them, which can cause damage to the structure of your teeth.
What Are the Best Summer Food Options?
When looking for healthy summer snacks, fruit is always a good option. Many fruits have a distinctive summer feel, such as pineapple, mango and papaya. These fruits are easy to cut up and transport to a sporting event, picnic or even just a day at the park or pool. Chilled fruit offers an even greater appeal, and can be a refreshing way to cool off on a hot summer day. Best of all, choosing to snack on fruit can help to “retrain” your family’s taste preferences, which can make artificially sweetened snacks less appealing over time.
At Brewery District Dental, our team of professionals is always here to help and can answer any questions that you have about dental health. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment, or to speak with a member of our team about the services we offer.