During the warmer months we are inundated with refreshing choices such as cooling fruit, ice lollies, and freezing cold drinks. However most of these options are packed with sugar, which in excess can cause tooth erosion and decay. We’ve spoken with an orthodontist, who’s suggested five easy swaps for your favourite summer sweets that will help keep your teeth healthy.
1. Homemade Ice lollies instead of Pre-Packaged Ice Cream
On a hot day, it can be hard to resist a stop at the local ice cream van, or special offers in the frozen aisle at the supermarket. However, pre-packaged ice cream and lollies are usually very high in sugar. Buy ice lolly moulds and make your own with sugar free squash or watered down juice for a cheap and healthy alternative.
2. Iced Coffees instead of Frappes
For coffee drinkers, the allure of a cooling Frappé can often replace a morning cup on the way to work during the summer. However, these are packed with sugar – a tall classic coffee Frappuccino from Starbucks has a whopping 36g! However an iced coffee has no sugar, so swapping will allow you to add your own sweetener, if required.
3. Homemade Refreshments instead of Fizzy Drinks
An ice cold can of your favourite fizzy drink can be tempting on a boiling summer day. However, as well as being bad for your teeth, the caffeine in many fizzy drinks can dehydrate you. Try keeping a jug of ice cold water in the fridge and adding lemon or lime wedges, cucumber slices, or fresh herbs like mint, for a refreshing and hydrating alternative that will also help save your teeth.
4. Tropical vs. ***
Summer weather can often tempt us to choose more tropical fruits such as pineapple, mango, or kiwi. But these options have some of the highest sugar content of all fruit. By choosing H20-filled watermelon or berries (such as strawberries, raspberries and blackberries), you can work towards your 5 a day without the toothache.
5.Crudites and Dip instead of Sugar-Packed Cereal Bars
During the summer we tend to get out and about a lot more. When packing for a day trip or family outing, try to avoid seemingly healthy snacks such as cereal bars and dried fruit as these contain high levels of hidden sugar. Instead try and opt for alternatives, such as crunchy vegetable crudités and hummus, plain nuts, crackers, and low fat yoghurt or cheese. These will also keep you fuller for longer.