Who doesn’t look forward to the Summertime and all the exciting things that the season has to offer? There’s so much to look forward to between the exciting, outdoor fun and the calm relaxation as you soak up the sun.
And, no doubt, accompanying you will be your favourite liquid refreshment to cool things off. But did you know that some of the most popular summertime beverages are also harmful for your teeth?
Because we know that a cold, refreshing treat goes a long way to help beat the summer heat, here’s some tips to protect your smile and stay hydrated!
Water is still nature’s healthiest choice to help you stay hydrated. Zero calories and zero sugar!
If you are looking for some tasty excitement in your water there are recipes that you can find online made with xylitol as a sweetener. The great thing about using xylitol is that is helps prevent tooth decay by reducing the growth of bacteria in our mouths and blocks acids that can erode our enamel. It occurs naturally in many fruits and vegetables and once extracted to be used as a sweetener it looks and tastes like table sugar but contains 40% less calories. You can purchase xylitol in most grocery and health food stores, just be sure to read the ingredients to ensure that it does not contain other “sugars.” You may also want to try “infused water” that can be low in sugar is you choose the right fruits, vegetable and herbs. There are lots of recipes online for infused water.
Cheese is considered as a preventive measure against cavities as it combats acid erosion of the teeth. Eating a cube of cheese before eating will also coat your teeth with a special protein called casein for added protection.
Low Sugar Fruits
There are a number of fruits/vegetables that are lower in sugar than others like cucumbers, raspberries, guava, cranberries, apricots, rhubarb, and kiwi. Presentation can make all the difference when offering them as a summer treat, so consider arranging them into kabobs, using cookie-cutter shapes or serving them in a melon or fancy glassware to make them more appetizing. Watermelon contains natural-occurring sugars, but because of their high water content it dilutes the affects of these sugars while increasing saliva flow.
Your tan may fade, but Your Smile can last forever
Blending some low sugar fruits and vegetables then freezing them into delicious and healthy smoothies, chilled beverages or frozen popsicle treats is a healthy snack alternative for all ages.
Yogurts can be chilled/frozen or made into delicious parfaits that you can top with other fruits and granolas. You can also coat fruits in yogurts then freeze.
Chewing gum that contains xylitol promotes saliva flow and reduces bacteria buildup. Saliva goes a long way in neutralizing our mouths and healing the damage of acid attacks that occurs when we eat sugars and starches – even naturally occurring ones.
Summer can be a busy time with more recreation, vacations and relaxation. Sometimes we become so busy and away from our home that brushing and flossing becomes an afterthought. Remember to bring your toothbrush kit with you when you travel and rinse with water after eating if you can’t get to your toothbrush right away!
Ice creams, popsicles, slushies, soda pops – they all sound like refreshing and tasty hot weather treats, but they can wreak havoc on your oral health. Here are a list of the worst foods for your teeth:
– hard candies
– chewy candies
– chewing on ice
– dried fruit
– sports drinks
– energy drinks
– soda pop
– sipping coffee/tea with added sugar all day long
– gum with sugar
– highly acidic foods like lemons, pickles and
– chips and crackers
Sometimes, it’s just a matter of habits – some good, others bad. Summertime, and in particular, vacation time, can often turn into a free for all. You can still appreciate all that this fun season has to offer without compromising Your Smile. Oral health isn’t the only thing that will thank you for your wise summer choices. There is an overall health benefit from choosing a healthy lifestyle, so that when you do want to “indulge” a little, you can do so guilt-free.
If sunshine is your 2nd favourite accessory next to Your Smile, keep in mind the idea of “Smart Snacking” so you can still beat the heat and keep your teeth safe.