Throughout the summer months, there are bound to be picnics on the horizon. We all know the usual cakes and ice creams are delicious picnic staples (that can enjoyed in moderation), but they generally contain high amounts of sugar which is harmful for your teeth.
If you’re looking for some teeth-friendly alternatives, we’ve put together some low-sugar foods that you might want to add to your picnic basket this summer.
Celery or cucumber and hummus
Crunchy vegetables, such as carrots, celery or cucumber can help protect your mouth from plaque (a sticky substance that can build up on your teeth) as they require lots of chewing and crunching, which helps produce saliva and neutralise the bacteria in your mouth.
Vegetables don’t have to be boring; dips such as hummus are surprisingly good for your smile. Hummus is made of chickpeas, which are full of protein and folic acid that protect your gums and help you fight off disease.
Homemade potato salad
Potatoes are another teeth-friendly food you might consider. As well as containing vitamin C, which helps keep your gums healthy and strong, potatoes also contain vitamin A. Similarly to celery, vitamin A is good for saliva production. As well as neutralising bacteria, vitamin A helps break down sugar in your food, preventing it from attacking your teeth.
It’s best to try and avoid processed potato salads, as they often contain high amounts of sugar, but it’s easy to make your own using potatoes, yoghurt and crème fraiche.
You might be surprised to learn that cheese is also good for your teeth. Cheese contains calcium, which naturally strengthens your teeth. It also helps balance the PH levels in your mouth, helping to neutralise harmful sugars that can attack your teeth. This generally applies to dairy-free cheese substitutes too.
Often, cheese is paired with crackers, but did you know these can actually be harmful for the teeth? Although they don’t contain lots of sugar, starchy food like crackers and bread form a paste in the mouth when your saliva breaks them down. This can get easily stuck between your teeth, allowing more plaque to accumulate. If you’re going to have crackers, try and look for wholemeal varieties, as they don’t break down as easily in your mouth.
Low-sugar banana bread
You probably already know that the worst offenders for tooth decay are treats like cakes and sweets. The more you eat sugar-refined, processed foods, the more acid that’s produced.
If acid is allowed to corrode the tooth enamel, and goes unchecked, it can cause holes in the teeth known as tooth decay. If you’re going to opt for a sweet treat, why not try our low sugar banana bread recipe instead?
Natural yoghurt and fruit
You might think that all sweet foods are bad for your teeth, but one thing that can help keep your smile healthy is strawberries. Strawberries contain malic acid, which can act as a natural teeth whitener, preventing a stain build-up.
Similarly to cheese, natural yoghurt contains calcium, which helps strengthen the teeth and bones. Opt for natural yoghurt rather than flavoured if you can, as they can often contain high amounts of sugar.
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Bupa Dental Care is a trading name of Oasis Dental Care Limited. Registered in England and Wales No: 00478127. Registered office: Bupa Dental Care, Vantage Office Park, Old Gloucester Road, Hambrook, Bristol, United Kingdom BS16 1GW.
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