Summer is in full swing. And along with family vacations, fireworks, and hot weather, the summer can also be a time when your kids are at a higher risk of cavities. Sweet soda, candy, desserts, and other foods are often prevalent at celebrations and cookouts, and can be harmful to their oral health.
So what should you do? Check out these summer foods that your child (and their teeth) will love! Read on to get recommendations from Sea of Smiles Pediatric Dentistry for a few tooth-healthy summer foods that you and your family will love.
We’re wild about watermelon! Watermelons come into full ripeness in the summer, and are absolutely delicious. Watermelon is great for your child’s teeth, too, and watermelon slices are a solid alternative to fruit juices, candy, and other sugary treats.
Why? First, watermelon is about 90% water. That helps maintain hydration, which is important for saliva production, and for keeping your kids comfortable in the summer heat. It’s also full of antioxidants and vitamins C and A, which keep the gums and eyes healthy.
And despite tasting sweet, watermelon is pretty low in sugar compared to other fruits and has a reasonable amount of fiber, so it’s very healthy overall, both for your child’s mouth and the rest of their growing body!
Whether it’s melted onto hamburgers, served on a charcuterie board, or consumed on its own, cheese is great for your child’s oral health, so it’s a good thing to integrate into summer meals.
Cheese contains calcium, phosphates, and other compounds that are good for your teeth, and also help reduce oral acidity, which is a common contributing factor for tooth decay. Eating cheese helps keep your child’s enamel strong, so make it a centerpiece of summer meals and celebrations!
3. Crudité Platters
Skip the chips, and choose a crudité platter packed with vegetables like celery, carrots, bell peppers, broccoli, and other fibrous, crunchy vegetables. And don’t forget the ranch dressing! Not only will your kids get plenty of fiber and nutrients, but these types of vegetables also help scrub their teeth. That’s a win-win!
This is because tough, crunchy, fibrous vegetables are sort of like “nature’s toothbrushes.” As your child bites into them and chews them, they will help remove plaque and bacteria from the teeth.
4. Fruit Salad
Pretty much all types of fruit are good for your child’s teeth. Instead of giving them fruit juice this summer, just give them fresh fruit instead, or create a fruit salad! Whole fruit contains less sugar, more fiber, and more nutrients compared to fruit juice, and is less problematic when it comes to cavity formation.
Great additions include apples, pears, strawberries, bananas, fresh blueberries and blackberries, kiwi, and anything else you’ve got on hand. Fruit salad is refreshing, delicious, and a good alternative to other sweets.
However, fruit salad can still be pretty sweet, so your child should drink a glass of water or eat some other food after their snack to reduce sugar buildup on their teeth, and further reduce their risk of cavities.
Don't Forget Your Child’s Six-Month Checkup This Summer!
If your child is due to visit Sea of Smiles Pediatric Dentistry this summer, make sure you visit our dentists. Along with good oral hygiene and eating healthy foods, routine dental visits are essential for their oral health. Overdue for a visit, or looking for a new dentist in Bensalem, Yardley, Warrington, or Glenside? Contact us online to book an appointment for your little one today.