The Scoop on Ice Cream

The Scoop on National Ice Cream Month and Day

President Ronald Reagan is known for his love of Jelly Bellies, but his sweet tooth extended into the creamy goodness of ice cream. In 1984, President Reagan designated July as National Ice Cream month and the third Sunday in July would be National Ice Cream Day. This year the third Sunday is July 19th.  This designated month and day is a great reason to indulge in the summertime favorite … you can’t go wrong with ice cream!

However, you can go wrong if you don’t brush your teeth after enjoying this American classic. Whether you are scooping out vanilla, chocolate, or strawberry into a dish or a cone you need to know the scoop on the impact ice cream and other sweet treats have on your teeth.

The Scoop on Tooth Decay

It is commonly said that sugar harms your teeth.  The sugar itself will not hurt your teeth but plays a large role in tooth decay. Tooth decay is caused by harmful bacteria in the mouth. Bacteria feed on sugar, so eating too much sugar can feed bad bacteria, which will guzzle down the sugar and give off an acid byproduct that can strip teeth of enamel. These harmful bacteria can adhere to teeth forming plaque (a sticky substance) and tartar (hardened plaque). The bacteria continue to feed on the sugar and eventually may result in cavities.

 With a Scoop of Moderation

In an ideal world we could do away with sweets altogether, but why would we want to get rid of something that tastes so good? The good news is that there are simple solutions to avoiding the damage done by bacteria when enjoying your favorite sweet treat.

  1. Brush your teeth at least twice a day for 2 minutes
  2. Floss daily
  3. Enjoy in moderation  
  4. Alternatives  (Banana “Ice Cream”)

A Scoop of Banana “Ice Cream”

Bananas

This recipe provides the cool, creamy sweetness of ice cream – without any added sugar.

Ingredients:

2-3 ripe bananas (yep, that’s it!)

Directions:

Peel bananas and cut them into small slices. Freeze them for 1-2 hours, then place them in a blender and blend until creamy. Scoop and serve! Once you’ve tried the “original” flavor, experiment with healthy add-ins like peanut butter, strawberries or dark chocolate. (Consider if your add-ins contains sugar, and remember to brush after eating.)

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