On hot days, few things are more tempting than cold, refreshing snacks and drinks.  But while cool treats might be picking you up, the sugar in them could be taking your teeth down.

Sugar contributes to plaque and encourages acid-generating bacteria that eat away at your teeth’s enamel.  Children are especially vulnerable, so it’s important to look at healthy snack options that can provide great refreshment, but not harm your smile.

One great alternative ice cream or other sugary snacks is an American summertime favorite:  Watermelon.  It can be served ice cold, helps replenish fluids that you might lose while enjoying the outdoors, and is naturally low in calories.

And you can also challenge your friends to a seed spitting contest.

There are also a variety of sugar free or low sugar ice creams and popsicles now on the market, and while these might not be quite as healthy a choice as fruits, they do help you cut down on sugar.

But we know that there are times when resistance is futile, and there’s nothing you want more than a bowl or cone of rich, sweet, honest-to-goodness ice cream.  When you do indulge, also do this:  brush as soon as you can afterwards.  Brushing helps get rid of the sugary residue, and helps stop the creation of decay-causing bacteria.

Enjoy your summer, but be cool about being cool:  Remember to take care of your smile.

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