Article at a Glance
- Popsicles and other ice cream treats tend to be loaded with sugar that can stick to your teeth.
- Chewing ice cubes can lead to gum injuries and broken teeth.
- There are many healthy snack alternatives to satisfy your summer cravings without compromising your oral health.
Summer is just around the corner and that means a fresh selection of foods. Corn on the cob, barbecue, and popsicles are some of the best that summer has to offer, but what about your teeth? Before running out to the neighborhood ice cream truck or picnic, make sure you know what you’re biting into.
Summer Snacks That Are Bad for Your Teeth
Not all summer snacks are created equal. While there’s usually an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables, there are also a lot of sugary treats. It can be tough to navigate the barrage of goodies with sports events, cook-outs, block parties, and vacations, but there are a few treats that you should avoid for the sake of your pearly whites.
For summer sports, popsicles are nearly always on hand as a cheap way to cool off your team. However, knowing the problems caused by sugary treats, many parents are asking “are popsicles bad for your teeth?” Along with other frozen treats, popsicles are loaded with sugar that will stick to your child’s teeth and attract bacteria that erodes tooth enamel. There are better ways to cool off without all the sugar.
Ice cubes are cheap, readily available, and can also cool you off. Unlike popsicles, ice cubes have no sugar but can be refreshing and hydrating. However, just because something doesn’t have sugar, doesn’t mean it’s good for your teeth. If you’re wondering “is eating ice bad for your teeth,” the answer is, yes. Chewing on ice cubes can cause gum injuries and broken teeth. If you’re seeking refreshment, try sucking on ice slivers that melt on your tongue. To satisfy the need to crunch, try fresh vegetables or apple chunks.
Sports drinks, sodas, candy, and even some granola bars can be very high in sugar which can cause problems with your teeth. Thankfully, there are plenty of healthy alternatives that are better for your body, including your teeth.
Alternative Healthy Summer Snacks
Whether you’re running to sports tournaments, lounging by the pool, or hitting the zoo, snacking is par for the course. Snacking is a great way to hold off hunger for a while, but snacking affects your teeth, so it’s important to make good choices. Put aside the potato chips and pick some healthy summer snacks.
- If you’re looking for that satisfying crunch, skip the candies, potato chips, and ice cubes. A good veggie tray is a colorful and healthy substitute in any summer scenario. You can even get creative for the kids and arrange the vegetables in patterns or faces to be more appealing.
- Instead of opting for a popsicle, try chilled berries or melons as cool summer snacks that are refreshing and a little sweet without all of the added sugars.
- Keep sugar-free chewing gum with you this summer. It can help hold off the hunger and help clean your teeth a bit until you can brush and floss.
- Skip the sugary ice cream and try a low-fat yogurt with fresh berries instead.
- Nuts, like almonds and cashews, can give you energy, stave off hunger, and satisfy the need to crunch.
- Milkshakes can be loaded with sugar, so try a smoothie made with fresh fruit instead.
While your kids (and you) may be eager for the ice cream truck to wind through your neighborhood, you may want to consider some alternative snacks for the sake of your whole family.
Practice Good Oral Care This Summer
Despite your best efforts, it may be impossible to exercise complete control over summer snacks. Be sure to keep up with your regular oral care routine to keep your teeth in good shape. Summer is a great time to get your kids into the dentist for a check-up and professional teeth cleaning because they won’t miss any school.