Summertime is a great time for kids to indulge in healthy snacks, instead of making their dental problems worse now and planting bad seeds for their future oral health. A good diet is a form of preventive dentistry that stops problems before they start. Every parent knows that it’s all too easy for children at school or when visiting other homes to be given high-sugar treats and foods. The good news is that there are lots of tasty alternatives.
Make sure you have plenty of sweet summer fruits handy that also help scrub teeth, like Bosc pears and apples. Natural alternatives to candy to satisfy the sweet tooth include bananas, watermelon, and berries. Buy yogurt (or non-dairy versions) sweetened with honey, stevia, monk fruit, or erythritol, which are healthier than sugar or fructose (though any sweetener requires brushing teeth or at least rinsing out the mouth afterwards to avoid cavities and gum disease). Every natural food store also has nutrition bars and candy that can be as delicious as the junk food versions to take to school for lunch (but read the labels carefully).
Wholesome Snacks & Frozen Desserts
Cheese and yogurt have calcium and vitamin D, which build strong teeth. Celery and carrots scrub teeth and can be made tasty with dips like avocado, cream cheese, or hummus. Whole grain or non-grain chips satisfy hunger without harming teeth, too.
Today, healthier sweeteners can make dairy or non-dairy ice cream or frozen yogurt taste as good as the sugary versions in every flavor you can imagine (and some you can’t, but they’re very popular). There is no reason for your child to feel that they can’t enthusiastically invite friends to your home to try them, too.
Super Smoothies & Summer Drinks
Summer is the perfect time for a healthy smoothie. You can blend up a combination of fruits and bananas (for thickness) just as they are and perhaps add in a superfood powder that adds nutrition. Even better on hot days would be a frozen smoothie. Buy ripening bananas with brown spots when stores are discounting them to move fast, freeze them, and throw in fruits, flavors, and powders for a cold dessert that your kids will ask for again and again.
Sodas have acids that can erode tooth enamel and usually too much sugar. Water to keep kids hydrated is always best to satisfy thirst, but if they crave something sweeter, you can either give them cold water with a bit of stevia and flavor or buy some of the non-sugar beverages for hydration that are widely available.
Make summertime fun and healthy for youngsters and this will set them on the path of having healthy teeth and gums for the rest of their lives. Still, if your child runs into dental problems, don’t hesitate to visit a pediatric dentist for regular teeth cleaning.