Valentine’s Day is a day where people everywhere share candy and sweet treats with their loved ones. It can be fun to celebrate Valentine’s Day, but eating too many treats can harm tooth enamel and lead to tooth decay. This Valentine’s Day, you can celebrate with some treats that will please your taste buds without damaging your teeth!
Frozen Strawberries and Yogurt
These frozen strawberry and yogurt bites are the perfect tooth-friendly treat for Valentine’s Day. Yogurt is a mouth healthy because it is packed with protein and high in calcium – both of which help build strong teeth and enamel. It also contains a healthy amount of good bacteria, which helps eliminate bad bacteria that can stick to teeth and lead to cavities. Strawberries are also high in fiber, which cleans teeth as it is consumed.
12 oz. package of strawberries
1 Cup of non-fat Greek yogurt
Set aside a large baking sheet, and cover it with wax paper or tin foil. Cut off the green tops of the strawberries, and then rinse them under cold water. Next, cut the strawberries in half vertically. Dip the strawberries in the yogurt one by one, and place them on the baking sheet. After each strawberry is on the baking sheet, place it in the freezer and leave them there for 2 – 3 hours, or until the yogurt has completely hardened.
Watermelon Heart Popsicles
Watermelon is high in vitamin C, which helps teeth and gums by preventing cell damage that can lead to gum degeneration. In fact, a lack of vitamin C in your diet can promote bleeding gums and make it more difficult for your gums to heal.
These heart-shaped watermelon popsicles will give you a boost of vitamin C, and help you celebrate Valentine’s Day without damaging your teeth.
1 Heart-shaped cookie cutter
25 medium popsicle sticks
Cut the watermelon into large disks that are 1 – 1.5 inches thick. Take one of the disks and set it down flat. Then, use the cookie cutter to cut hearts from the pink area of the disk. Repeat this until the watermelon is gone, or you’ve reach your desired number of popsicles. Finally, stick the popsicle sticks into the bottom of the hearts, and put them on a baking sheet and into the freezer. Leave in the freezer until they are frozen through, about 3 – 4 hours.
For those that aren’t feeling crafty, dark chocolate is a mouth-healthy treat that comes in a variety of shapes and sizes for Valentine’s Day. Dark chocolate is healthier than milk chocolate because it doesn’t contain added milk or sugar. Additionally, dark chocolate contains polyphenols, which are natural chemicals that limit the buildup of bad oral bacteria. Polyphenols also help prevent bacteria from turning sugar into acid, thereby limiting acid attacks that can damage tooth enamel.
When buying dark chocolate, be sure that it is at least 70% cocoa to get the most nutritional value.
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A mouth-healthy diet is an important part of maintaining optimal oral health. If you’re concerned about how your child’s diet may be affecting their teeth, then bring them into our office.