When the temperature heats up and the humidity kicks in, there is nothing quite like ice cream. So, it’s not surprising that July is National Ice Cream Month! Whether you enjoy a tart variety or prefer something chocolatey and decadent, this treat can help you cool down while simultaneously satisfying your sweet tooth. Unfortunately, however, it’s not exactly teeth-friendly. To learn all about how ice cream impacts your oral health, read on.
Ice Cream: The Pros
Let’s start with the good news: ice cream has calcium! This nutrient plays an essential role in building and maintaining strong teeth, which is why snacks like yogurt and eggs are often dentist-approved. So, while shopping, don’t forget to take a look at the nutritional facts and pick a flavor/brand with a good amount of calcium (around 6 to 10% of the Daily Value).
Ice Cream: The Cons
Now for the cons. Ice cream is often packed with sugar. In fact, a half cup of vanilla typically has more than 14 grams of sugar (over 50% of the maximum recommended amount!). Since sugar can quickly eat away at the enamel on your teeth, it’s easy to see why ice cream is often viewed as a cavity-causer. Plus, the frosty temperature can leave your teeth and gums sensitive. That’s why it’s of the utmost importance that you enjoy this treat in moderation.
How to Limit the Negative Effects of Ice Cream on Your Teeth
If you are a self-proclaimed ice cream fanatic, don’t worry – there are a few ways you can help protect your teeth:
- Eat ice cream at the end of your meal (when your saliva production is at its highest)
- Opt for low-sugar or sugar-free options when possible
- Chew gum afterward to help rinse away sugars from your mouth
- Brush, floss, and rinse with mouthwash about 20 minutes afterward
- Get a dental checkup and cleaning every six months
- Eat mostly nutrient-dense, well-balanced foods
Ice cream is certainly a delicious treat, especially in the middle of summer. Fortunately, you don’t have to forgo it entirely for the sake of your smile. Just keep the above best practices in mind to help keep your smile decay-free!
About the Practice
Leading our team at Pinnacle Dental is Dr. James Zonghetti, a Las Vegas Institute-trained dentist. For more than 20 years now, he has dedicated his days to helping patients restore and maintain their healthy smiles. Plus, if you do get a cavity, he can meticulously and carefully intervene with the appropriate restorative treatment, like a tooth-colored filling. If you want to learn more about how to keep your oral health in pristine condition or you’d like to schedule an appointment, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team via our website or call (781) 843-7905.