Summer is here, and soon many people will be having picnics on the beach, barbecues in their back garden, and Sunday brunches with friends and family. Some summer snacks can be really damaging to your teeth, so we’ve put together a list of summertime treats that you may want to avoid!
When you’re a kid, there’s nothing better than having a ice-cold popsicle on a warm and sticky summer day. Popsicles are a great way to cool down and to feed your sweet tooth, but some varieties of popsicles are really full of sugar, which is not good for your teeth. For example, let’s take a look at the ingredients in the brand name Popsicle: In their Tropical Paradise version, the Island Punch Pop contains Red 40 (dye) which may cause symptoms in some with hypersensitivity, but it will also stain your teeth. The first ingredient is also high fructose corn syrup, which is a processed type of sugar that is very bad for your enamel. Instead of buying processed popsicles like this, try a natural-ingredient popsicle, or you could even make your own. Here are some great healthy popsicle recipes from the Super Healthy Kids blog!
The summer blockbusters have kids and parents running to the movie theaters. Kids who are out of school attending matinees may gorge themselves on their favorite movie snack: popcorn! The only bad thing about popcorn is that the kernels easily get stuck between your teeth and below the gum line. If you leave popcorn debris or kernels between your teeth, it will attract and breed bacteria, which can cause cavities. If you’ve been eating lots of popcorn, or know your kids have, make sure that you keep dental floss handy. Kids should be supervised while flossing to make sure they’re doing it correctly!
While not technically a “treat,” many people will crunch the ice leftover in their drink or will chew on ice chips to cool down. Ice is very hard and it can easily crack or chip your teeth. Even a small crack or chip may not be noticeable, but overtime it can grow bigger and cause problems. Teach your kids to not chew on ice, and we encourage you to stop this habit. If you really like the cooling effect of ice, then try just sucking on it and letting it melt in your mouth rather than crunching down on it.
While these summertime treats may not be great for your teeth, there are plenty which are good for your teeth! Think strawberries, watermelon, and pears! Happy summer!
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