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July is National Ice Cream Month!

While this is much-anticipated celebration for ice cream lovers everywhere dedicated to enjoying the sweet, creamy delight that brings joy to people of all ages, it’s also a great time to educate your patients on the considerations and potential impact it may have on their oral health. Balancing enjoyment with proper tips and care can help your patients savor every scoop without compromising their smile.

Share Healthy Tips With Your Patients:

1. Opt for Low-Sugar Options: Choose ice creams with less sugar or natural sweeteners to reduce the risk of tooth decay.

2. Rinse with Water: After enjoying your ice cream, rinse your mouth with water to wash away sugars and acids.

3. Eat with Meals: Consuming ice cream with a meal increases saliva production, helping to neutralize acids and cleanse your mouth.

Patient Education for Understanding the Impact:

· Sugar and Decay: Ice cream’s sugars feed bacteria that produce acids, leading to tooth decay. Understanding your patients diet and nutrition can help you, the dental provider, to personalize each patients dental needs.

· Temperature Sensitivity: Cold ice cream can cause discomfort for sensitive teeth, signaling potential dental issues and the need for preventive services like Fluoride at your office. Remind your patients if they should experience sensitivity while enjoying this delicious treat to contact your office.

· Sticky Toppings: Toppings like caramel, raisons or candy can stick to teeth and increase the risk of decay.

Ice-Cream Indulgence Patient Tips:

· Moderation: Remind patients that they can enjoy ice cream in moderation in effort to limit sugar intake.

· Oral Hygiene: While we always educate patients on the standard of brushing twice a day and flossing at least daily to remove plaque and food particles, whenever those practices are not possible, rinsing with water after enjoying treats can also help reduce food debris and restore the pH of the oral environment.

· Regular Dental Visits: Remind patients the importance of scheduling consistent dental check-ups to maintain excellent oral health.

Healthy Alternatives

· Frozen Yogurt: Often lower in sugar and fat.

· Fruit Sorbet: Made from pureed fruit, it’s a refreshing, lower-sugar option.

· Homemade Treats: Encourage patients to make their own treats which allow them to control ingredients and reduce the sugar intake.

National Ice Cream Day is a time to indulge and enjoy a sweet treat, but it doesn’t have to come at the expense of your patients’ oral health. By helping them make mindful choices and providing them tips on maintaining good oral hygiene, they can savor the sweetness while keeping their smile bright and healthy.

As we celebrate, be sure to educate your patients that a healthy mouth is the foundation of overall health. Encourage them to enjoy that scoop of ice cream, without forgetting their teeth – because every celebration is better with a confident, healthy smile!