Summer Snacks that are Good for Your Teeth
So many traditional summer snacks are packed with sugar, or they settle in the pits of your teeth where they attract cavity-causing bacteria. For a healthier smile, serve summer snacks at your next barbecue or pool party that are actually good for your teeth.
Potato chips are standard party food, but this starchy snack lingers in your mouth, providing a meal for harmful bacteria. Raw vegetables are a much better way to get a satisfying crunch. They act like natural toothbrushes, scrubbing your teeth and stimulating saliva flow to wash away anything that’s left behind.
To incorporate crunchy vegetables at your next party, set out a tray of raw carrot sticks, celery, sugar snap peas, broccoli, and cauliflower with veggie dip. (See our recipe for Greek yogurt veggie dip below!)
You can also serve individual plastic cups with ranch dressing (or homemade dip) on the bottom and raw vegetables sticking out the top. This lets your guests grab-and-go, so they can get back to enjoying the party.
Low-fat milk, yogurt, and cheese are naturally low in sugar and rich in calcium, which is important for strong teeth and healthy enamel. Research also suggests that eating more dairy lowers your chance of gum disease.
Caprese salad skewers are an easy, tasty way to serve a healthy dairy and veggie option at your summer party. All you need are cherry tomatoes, mozzarella balls, and basil leaves. Assemble the ingredients on toothpicks, drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
Another simple option is to make your own Greek yogurt veggie dip to serve with the crunchy vegetables listed above. It’s healthier than ranch dressing, yet it tastes delicious thanks to ingredients like garlic powder, parsley, and dill.
The natural sweetness of fruit makes it an excellent substitute for sugary summer snacks. The only problem is that many fruits have seeds that can get stuck in your guests’ teeth. Fortunately, many favorites are available in seedless varieties, including watermelon and grapes. Other suitable options include bananas, apples, blueberries, mandarin oranges, pineapple, cantaloupe, and mango.
The easiest way to serve seedless fruit as a summer snack is to chop up a variety and throw them in a bowl. A drizzle of orange juice adds just enough moisture to make the fruit salad feel like a special treat.
Fruit skewers are another fun way to make it easy for your guests to grab-and-go. Simply run a skewer through slices of your favorite fruit, and line them on a platter. If your party has a certain theme, think about the colors of fruit you choose and how you arrange them on the skewer.
Ditch the sugary soda and lemonade at your summer party, and treat your guests to delicious infused water instead. This healthy alternative won’t cause tooth decay or eat away at your enamel. And as a bonus, pitchers of infused water look beautiful on your buffet table.
Making infused water is easy. Simply fill a pitcher or drink dispenser with ice-cold water, and add any fruits and herbs you want to create a colorful concoction that tastes as good as it looks. Try cucumber, lemon, and mint leaves for a refreshing detoxifier. Opt for strawberry, orange, and basil for an uplifting, sweet treat. Or combine blueberries and peaches to boost your immunity and skin health. Let the water infuse for at least 30 minutes before serving.
Low-Sugar Frozen Summer Snacks
It’s easy to serve store-bought ice cream and Popsicles when you want a cold, sweet summer snack. However, these treats are packed with sugar that lingers on your teeth and causes cavities. Satisfy your sweet tooth without harming your smile by choosing low-sugar alternatives.
Frozen yogurt bites are a cool summer treat that is so easy to make, your kids can do it themselves! All you need is plain or flavored Greek yogurt, your favorite fruit, and optional toppings like granola, sliced almonds, or mini chocolate chips. Fill a lined muffin tin with your ingredients, freeze for a few hours, and there you have it—snack-size treats that won’t rot your teeth.
Homemade strawberry watermelon Popsicles are another favorite. If you end up with a big, not-so-great watermelon, salvage it by pureeing three cups of melon with one cup of strawberries and the juice of one lime. Pour the mixture into Popsicle molds and freeze for a few hours. You and your kids will love this frozen summer snack made from 100% fruit!
Remember to Schedule Dental Checkups this Summer
Replacing sugary summer snacks with healthier alternatives can work wonders for your smile this summer. However, it’s not enough simply to avoid sugar—you must also keep up with routine visits to the dentist. Oral exams every six months help keep you informed about any problems developing in your mouth so you can treat them in a timely manner. Preventative care can help you avoid painful infections, abscesses, and other issues.