August 25, 2022
Ice cream is a classic sweet treat that holds fond memories for many. With the numerous toppings you can put on it and delicious desserts you can make with it, it’s no wonder that the International Dairy Foods Association found that the average American eats approximately 20 pounds of ice cream each year. As delicious as ice cream is, have you ever wondered how eating it might impact your smile? Read on to learn about how ice cream affects your dental health and what you can do to keep your pearly whites healthy.
The Pros of Eating Ice Cream
Let’s start with the good news about everyone’s favorite cold treat: since ice cream is made from dairy, that means it contains calcium. This mineral is often associated with strong bones and can also promote a healthy smile. That’s why consuming things like yogurt, milk, and eggs is often recommended by dentists. Make sure to take a look at the nutritional facts of the ice cream you’re considering to make sure you’re getting plenty per serving. This should be around 6 to 10% of the Daily Value.
The Cons of Eating Ice Cream
This probably comes as no surprise, but there are definitely cons to eating ice cream. For one, this delicious dessert tends to be packed full of sugar. In fact, eating half a cup of vanilla ice cream typically means you’re consuming 14 grams of sugar, which is more than 50% of the daily recommended amount.
So, why is this bad for your smile? The bacteria in your mouth that are responsible for cavities feed off the sugar in the foods and drinks you consume. They then release acids that attack your tooth enamel. The cold temperature or ice cream can also leave your teeth and gums more sensitive than usual.
7 Ways to Limit the Negative Effects of Ice Cream
Though eating ice cream can do some damage to your smile, that doesn’t mean you have to cut it out altogether. There are a few things you can do to prevent dental health issues, including:
- Eat ice cream when your saliva production is at its highest, which is at the end of a meal
- Brush, floss, and rinse your mouth out with mouthwash 20 minutes after dessert
- Chew gum after eating ice cream to help increase saliva production
- Visit your dentist for checkups and cleanings every six months
- Eat mostly foods that are full of vitamins and nutrients
- Pick low-sugar or sugar-free varieties when possible
- Consume sweet treats in moderation
Ice cream offers some benefits to your smile, but it’s mostly bad for your dental health. With the above tips, you should be able to prevent oral health issues due to ice cream and continue to maintain a gorgeous grin while snacking on your favorite frosty treat!
About the Practice
Drs. Jeanelle and Frank Marchese lead the Arbor Dental Care team in a compassionate way that shows in how they care for their patients. Based in Lisle, they enjoy helping patients correct bad oral habits like eating too much ice cream to achieve healthier, happier smiles. If you’re ready to set up an appointment with Arbor Dental Care or to learn more about their services, visit their website or call their office at (630) 969-2310 to get started.
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