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Ice Cream and Dental Health

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As temperature and humidity levels rise during the summer, many adults and children crave iced snacks which help them mitigate the heat. Ice cream is one of the most popular summer snacks; eating ice cream is a summer habit favored by everyone.

How Sweets Affect Teeth

Some snacks—such as ice cream—contain high levels of sugar, which is one of the main causes of dental caries and gingivitis. Sugar and the bacteria present in the mouth cause tooth decay or cavities. The bacteria consume sugar and generate an acidic substance known as plaque, a delicate transparent membrane on the gum line. Due to its acidic nature, the plaque breaks down the metals maintaining the tooth and dissolves the enamel—the tooth's outer surface.

Tooth decay is widely common; due to carelessness with mouth and gum cleanliness and wellbeing, at least 90% of people suffer at least one tooth cavity. Moreover, some people's teeth are sensitive to very cold and very hot foods; their mouth nerves, thus, cannot tolerate the coldness of ice cream. They should seek the help of a dentist to prescribe toothpaste that would neutralize the sensitivity and enable them to eat ice creams.

Dentists can easily treat tooth cavity problems, but avoiding tooth cavities and gingivitis is much easier; at least it prevents severe pains.

How to eat ice cream and avoid teeth cavities?

Dentists assure the importance of brushing the teeth 30 minutes after finishing meals, as the enamel weakens as soon as it touches sugar. Therefore, it is advisable to wait for 30 minutes, especially after a sugar-rich snack such as ice cream; brushing helps get rid of ice cream residues on the enamel.

In case the personal toothbrush is not available, one can use a mouthwash or even water; this would be enough until returning home and brushing one's teeth properly.

Other tips to protect teeth from ice cream include avoiding ordering ice creams with extras, such as caramel or chocolate sauces, gummy sweets that can cling to the teeth even after brushing, and other sugar-rich extras. It is wise to limit the sugar intake to that of the ice cream.

 

Do not stop eating ice cream; it is a calcium-rich snack. However, it is advisable to go for less-sugary types, and continuously care for dental and oral health using brushes, dental floss, and mouthwash.

References

deltadentalil.com
evansondds.com
ida-greeley.com

Img: freepik

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