Ice cream has calcium, a nutrient necessary for healthy and strong teeth. It also contains magnesium, which is essential for absorbing calcium and building strong tooth enamel, along with potassium, which works in conjunction with magnesium to help the teeth use calcium more efficiently. This is all good news for your teeth.
On the flip side, ice cream contains sugar – many ice cream toppings even more – which can increase risks for cavities. Bacteria in the mouth feed on sugar, producing an acidic byproduct that, when plaque develops, can be held close to the teeth and increase risks for decay and infection.
It’s National Ice Cream Month
It’s National Ice Cream Month – and what better time to celebrate than now, when we have been experiencing record heat in our state? Ice cream is delicious, not entirely bad for you, and a great cold treat on a hot summer day. But if you’re going to eat it, be sure that you take steps to reduce the potential damage it can do to your teeth.
Protect Your Teeth!
The best way to prevent damage to the teeth from sugar is to avoid sugar. The second best? Take time to brush and floss after consuming it.
Following a frozen treat like ice cream, drink plenty of water. This will help to remove both sugar and debris from the mouth. Then, after 30 minutes or so, brush and floss your teeth. This will help remove any residual sugar from all surfaces of the teeth. Waiting 30-minutes allows enamel that may have softened due to acidic content in certain flavors to become hard again, helping to reduce potential damage. You can further reduce damage by using a soft-bristled toothbrush and non-abrasive toothpaste.
As for toppings, try to avoid them or to go light. Select those that don’t contain sticky substances like caramel or gummies, and be careful with the crunchy ones – they can sometimes crack or break teeth that are already compromised. And, as always, if you experience any tooth pain or discomfort, get in touch with us right away to schedule an examination and find out why.
If you need to schedule an appointment, please call Warr Dental at 801-355-5385 today. Located in Salt Lake City, we serve all surrounding communities.