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At UPD Dental Associates (University Pediatric Dentistry), we have an uncompromising promise to deliver dental education and awareness to the Western New York community. Below are some tips, articles and links to improve your family’s oral health. Also, make sure to come see us at local schools and events near you!

Education

Nutritious & Delicious Summer Snacks

Published on Monday, July 8, 2024

Nutritious & Delicious Summer Snacks

Nutritious & Delicious Summer Snacks  

As the summer heat rolls in, it's time to cool down with delicious and healthy snacks that brighten your child's smile bright and strong. Discover the best tooth-friendly treats for those hot summer days and learn which foods to avoid while maintaining excellent dental health! 

Summer is the perfect time to enjoy refreshing snacks, but choosing ones that are not only delicious but also beneficial for your oral health is essential. Let's explore some tasty, tooth-friendly summer snacks and learn which foods to avoid keeping those pearly whites shining. 

Healthy Summer Snacks for Happy Smiles 

  1. Frozen Yogurt Popsicles: These homemade treats are a healthy alternative to sugary ice cream. Blend plain yogurt with fresh fruits like strawberries or blueberries, pour into molds, and freeze. Yogurt is rich in calcium and probiotics, which help strengthen teeth and support healthy gums.[1] 
  2. Veggie Sticks with Hummus: Crunchy vegetables like carrots, celery, and bell peppers are great for teeth as they help stimulate saliva production, which helps wash away food particles and bacteria. Pair them with hummus for a protein-packed dip that's tasty and nutritious.[2] 
  3. Watermelon Slices: This juicy fruit is a summer favorite and excellent for hydration. Watermelon has a high water content, which helps rinse your mouth and maintain healthy saliva levels. In addition to this, it is also low in sugar compared to many other fruits.[3] 
  4. Cheese and Apple Slices: Cheese is rich in calcium and phosphate, which can help balance the pH level in your mouth and protect enamel. Apples are high in fiber and water, making them natural toothbrushes that stimulate gums and reduce plaque.[4] 

Foods to Avoid for Dental Health 

  1. Sugary Beverages: Drinks such as soda, sports drinks, and even some fruit juices contain high levels of sugar that can lead to tooth decay. A good option is water or milk instead, which are much better for keeping teeth healthy and strong.[5] 
  2. Sticky Candies and Snacks: Gummy candies, caramel, and other sticky sweets can cling to teeth and provide a breeding ground for bacteria. These snacks can cause cavities and should be avoided, especially during summer when kids tend to snack more frequently. 

Citrus Fruits in Excess: While fruits like oranges and lemons are healthy in moderation, their high acidity can erode tooth enamel if consumed in large quantities. Rinse your mouth with water after eating citrus fruits to help protect your teeth. 

Fun and Educational Facts 

  • Did you know that cheese can help prevent tooth decay? It increases saliva production and contains casein, a protein that builds tooth enamel.[6] 
  • Water-rich fruits like watermelon and cucumber hydrate your body and help keep your mouth clean by promoting saliva flow. 

By choosing these healthy and refreshing snacks, you can help your child enjoy a delicious summer while keeping their teeth and gums in shape. At our UPD Dental Associate offices, we're always here to support your family's dental health with tips, treatments, and a commitment to bright, healthy smiles. 

Resources:

1."Easy Strawberry Popsicles" - Yummy Toddler Food [https://www.yummytoddlerfood.com/strawberry-greek-frozen-yogurt-pops/

2. "Veggie Cups with Hummus" - Studio Delicious [https://www.studiodelicious.com/veggie-cups-hummus/

3. "Best and Worst Foods for your Teeth" - Smile Generation [https://www.smilegeneration.com/blog/ask-a-dentist/foods-good-for-your-teeth-foods-to-avoid/

4. "Healthy Eating: Nutrition Tips for Kids" - Mayo Clinic [https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/childrens-health/in-depth/nutrition-for-kids/art-20049335

5. Food & Drinks to Avoid or Limit" - CDC.gov 

 [https://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/infantandtoddlernutrition/foods-and-drinks/foods-and-drinks-to-limit.html#:~:text=Juice%20drinks%2C%20fruit%20drinks%2C%20and,children%20younger%20than%20age%202.] 

6. "Cheese May Prevent Cavities" - Dentistry IQ lhttps://www.dentistryiq.com/dental-hygiene/clinical-hygiene/article/16354116/cheese-may-prevent-cavities

Written by Michael Ferris

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