Summer has arrived, which means it’s time to indulge in some sweet, cooling recipes. But not all summer treats will be good at maintaining the health of your pearly whites, so we’ve compiled a short list of a few summer recipes that are mouth approved.
Treat Yourself to the Fresh Fruits of the Season
One of the best aspects of summer is the fact that so many delicious fruits are in season. And the right raw fruits can even help to keep your teeth clean in between daily brushings.
- Pears and apples are great choices because they are fibrous and could help to naturally stimulate the production of saliva in your mouth. And pears also have the ability to neutralize acid on the surface of your teeth!
A salad that combines pears and apples, along with other fruits, such as grapes, peaches, berries, and watermelon, is a yummy and simple way to enjoy a refreshing breakfast or snack that will keep your entire mouth happy. Plus, it’s a good way to satisfy your cravings for sweets without having candy or high amounts of sugar.
Keep It Healthy on the Grill
Grilling is one of the many pleasures of the summer season, but when you head outside to cook this year, consider using ingredients that could help keep your teeth strong and beautiful.
- Veggie burgers can provide nutrients that could help to protect your teeth. For example, combining black beans and rice in a veggie burger will provide your body with phosphorus and vitamin B3, which support the health of your gums and tooth enamel.
Start by cooking up ½ cup of brown rice with about 1 teaspoon of salt for flavor. Then mash up a can of black beans (remove the liquid first) in a mixing bowl. Using a food processor, you can quickly mince a small onion, ½ of a green pepper, and 3 cloves of garlic. Add this to your black beans. Then, in another bowl, beat 1 egg before adding in 1 tablespoon each of chili powder, pepper, salt, hot sauce, and cumin. Pour this egg mix, along with your brown rice, into the bowl with your black beans and veggies so that you can mix it all until it’s thick enough to form patties. Cook up the patties and serve however you prefer.1 Yum!
Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth Without Damaging It
Summer is also the perfect time to try out some new dessert recipes, especially with all of the parties that you’ll likely be attending. But that doesn’t mean that you have to expose your teeth to the sugar that could damage them.
- Xylitol can be used as a sweetener in place of sugar in your favorite cookie recipes. This ingredient could help prevent decay by reducing the growth of bacteria that could lead to cavities. Try it in homemade almond cookies:
Cream 2 cups of coconut oil and 1½ cups of xylitol, and then add in 2 eggs and beat the mixture well. Beat in 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, 2 teaspoons of almond extract, and 1 teaspoon of maple extract. Then combine 4 cups of flour, 2 teaspoons of cream of tartar, and 2 teaspoons of baking soda before adding this to your creamed mix. Line a baking sheet with tablespoonfuls set a couple of inches apart, place an almond in the middle of each, and bake for 12 minutes at 350°F.2
- What’s summer without ice cream? Making ice cream at home, using natural ingredients without added sugar, is the best way to indulge while keeping the health of your teeth and gums in mind.
This recipe is so simple, it might surprise you. All you have to do is take 3 ripe bananas, peel them, cut them into slices, freeze them for about 2 hours, and then put them into a blender under they are creamy. If you want, you can even add in extra flavors like dark chocolate, berries, or peanut butter, but these could add a bit of sugar to the mix, so try using only small amounts.3
Refreshing Drinks That Won’t Contribute to Decay
What you drink can impact the health of your teeth, but the right beverages can be refreshing without contributing to the development of cavities. So the next time that you’re entertaining at your backyard barbecue or just enjoying some relaxing time with your friends, try out the following tooth-friendly recipes:
- Rather than sweetened lemonade or juices, consider sticking with infused water, which you can make right at home. This is an ideal alternative to sugary sports drinks and sodas, and it is also super hydrating—perfect for those hot days that make you sweat. Just avoid using citrus fruits, whose acid can be harsh on your chompers.
Try infusing blackberry and kiwi by adding the berries and sliced kiwi to a bottle filled with cool water. Then just let the mix sit in your refrigerator for several hours as the flavors of the fruits make their way into the water (the longer, the better).4
- Instead of drinking iced black tea or coffee, opt for green tea this summer. The caffeine could give you a boost of energy, the antioxidants could help protect your overall health, and the light color means it will not stain your teeth like dark drinks can.
To make your green tea even more flavorful and invigorating on hot and humid days, add some honey, mint, or lemon to your cup.
Enjoy Summer Flavors, but Don’t Forget Your Dentist!
Once the summer rolls around, you might realize that it’s also time to see your dentist again. Getting a checkup once or twice a year is highly recommended, regardless of what you eat every day, in order to ensure your teeth and gums are in tiptop shape. And with a Spirit Dental plan, you can even take some time out this summer to get one of your three annual cleanings so you can have a smile that shines like the sun!