July is National Ice Cream Month and the third Sunday of July, the 15th this year, is National Ice Cream Day. Both the day and the month were created through congressional resolution in 1984, which is a pretty big deal for ice cream.

There is no question that ice cream is a summertime favorite. Even without its own month, this cold treat becomes increasingly popular during the spring and summer, offering a refreshing escape on those days that top 100 in and around Glendale. But is it possible to enjoy ice cream and still maintain optimal oral health?

How to Protect Your Teeth

Let’s start with the good. Ice cream contains calcium, a mineral that is essential for healthy tooth enamel. Of course, ice cream is not the standard go-to calcium supplement, but it is a fairly delicious way to get 100 or so mg of the mineral that comprises 99% of the bones and teeth in your body. Ice cream also has a small amount of protein, potassium, and vitamins A and D.

While it would be irresponsible to claim ice cream has “health benefits,” it would be dishonest to suggest there is nothing healthy in the treat. However, none of the vitamins or minerals in ice cream will protect your teeth against the damage the treat’s sometimes alarming sugar content can do. That responsibility is yours alone.

Here’s the good news, you can eat ice cream AND maintain a strong and healthy smile. You just have to be smart about it. Here’s how:

  • Choose ice cream without candy and other add-ons
  • Brush your teeth within an hour of consuming ice cream
  • Floss within 12 hours of eating ice cream
  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day

Taking time to brush and floss, and drinking several cups of water throughout the day will have a positive impact on your oral health regardless of your relationship to ice cream. These steps will also help reduce your risks of tooth discoloration, the development of gum disease, and issues such as halitosis that are often related to substandard oral hygiene routines. Be sure to visit our office every six months for cleanings and examinations as well. These visits are essential for a strong and healthy smile.

Glendale dentist Dr. Donald Wilcox offers a comprehensive range of general, restorative, and cosmetic dentistry services that can be used in various combinations to produce the smile of your dreams. If you are overdue for a visit to the dentist or if you are considering a smile makeover, he welcomes an opportunity to meet with you, learn about your needs, and help you determine the best course of treatment.

Please call Desert Smiles at 602-978-1790 to schedule your consultation with Dr. Wilcox. Located in Glendale, our award-winning dentist serves Scottsdale, Peoria, and all surrounding areas of Arizona.

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