Sweet treats are a summertime staple, but they don’t always have to be tough on teeth. Instead of sugar-filled ice cream and ice pops – which can leave teeth vulnerable to sugar attacks that increase the risk of tooth decay – consider satisfying your sweet tooth with fruits. Along with many overall health benefits, sweet-satisfying fruits have benefits for your smile, too! Give these fruits a try this summer:
- Strawberries are full of gum-building vitamin C. Vitamin C is required for the production of collagen, a protein that maintains gums strength and integrity — and strong gums are an important part of oral health. Vitamin C also helps reduce plaque and remove surface stains on teeth.
- Apples are a low-acid, fibrous fruit often referred to as a “dental detergent.” This high-fiber fruit has a scrubbing effect, literally cleansing the surface of your teeth as you eat, working to brush the bacteria away.Apples are also a water-rich fruit that stimulate saliva production, which keeps oral bacteria in check.
- Watermelons have high water content and are packed with vitamin C. The water helps remove excess food particles stuck in and around teeth. It can also wash away bacteria and promote saliva production, increasing the natural protection of tooth enamel. Vitamin C helps kill bacteria in the mouth and strengthen gum tissues, which may help prevent gum disease.
Stock your fridge with smile-friendly fruits, but also look for recipes that cut down on sugar like our strawberry-watermelon popsicles. And try to consume fresh fruit instead of fruit juices. Whole fruit has less sugar and more fiber and nutrients than fruit juices.
Don’t forget to keep up your good oral health routine this summer and brush your teeth or drink a glass of water to wash away foods and drinks with sugar.