Cool, summertime snacks such as ice cream and popsicles can give your child a break from the heat. But some summer treats can affect your kid’s teeth and put them at risk for dental problems. Does this mean you should avoid these summer favorites? Your pediatric dentist in Long Island says no, but you should enjoy them moderately and take precautions to reduce the risk of problems.
Summer Snacks & Cavity Attacks
Even though we may turn to frozen snacks more during the summer, they’re also enjoyed all year round, and they’re not the only foods that worry your pediatric dentist in Long Island. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular summer snacks and how they can affect teeth.
Did you know that more ice cream is sold during the months of June and July than any other time of the year? This cool treat comes in so many different flavors it’s hard to keep track! Even though ice cream is certainly delicious, it’s also loaded with sugar. Everyone knows that sugar is one of your pediatric dentist’s least favorite things because it can cause cavities.
Another summer favorite, popsicles are also sugar-packed frozen snacks that can not only increase the risk of cavities but can also cause tooth sensitivity. Similar to ice cream, popsicles are sticky which means more of the sugary substance is left on the teeth for longer periods of time, increasing the likelihood of decay.
Many kids and adults alike turn to sports drinks, especially in the summer, to quench their thirst and cool off. However, most of these sports drinks contain high levels of sugar, and some are also acidic. This combination of sugar and acid further puts teeth in danger of decay and an unexpected visit to your pediatric dentist in Long Island.
Lemonade & Soda
Two other beverages that usually make their way into summer picnics cookouts are lemonade and soda. Again, these drinks are loaded with sugar, and lemonade is highly acidic, giving us that dangerous sugar and acid combination.
These ooey-gooey campfire favorites pack a punch when it comes to dental health. The sticky melted chocolate mixed with the melty marshmallows lingers around on teeth long after the last ember goes out, making them excellent at attracting bacteria that can cause decay.
Terrific Alternatives for Happy Teeth
The good news is that there are tons of delicious alternative snacks that can actually help dental health. When looking for yummy, smile-friendly snacks that the whole family will enjoy, consider:
Just because some of your kid’s summer favorites can increase their risk of tooth decay doesn’t mean you have to avoid them completely. We recommend enjoying them in moderation, rinsing with water afterward, and always brushing and flossing every day and night.
As always, we also recommend regular dental checkups with your pediatric dentist in Long Island at least twice a year to protect growing smiles.