To dentists, this title sounds like the beginning of a lame joke, but to many other people, the connection may be a little hazy or unformed. Today’s blog from your local Encino dentist is focused on the relationship between ice cream and dentistry.
Everyone’s Favorite Treat
About Ice Cream
In our previous blog, we wrote about coffee, one of the most incredibly popular and culturally pervasive consumable products in our culture; while coffee is reportedly consumed by just under half of Americans at least once in a two-week period, not far behind that is ice cream (at around 40% of us claiming the same). Our love of ice cream isn’t exactly shared by the rest of the world (yet), with Americans contributing to much of the ice cream production and consumption. While it comes as no surprise that we love our ice cream, the interesting thing is the health impact it’s known to have compared to what it is believed to have.
Ice Cream & Health
It shouldn’t shock you to hear that ice cream is fattening; between movies, television shows, and general pop culture, it has become incredibly mainstream to associate ice cream consumption with depressed gluttonous binges or chubby-cheeked children. This reputation is somewhat deserved, as ice cream certainly has all of the elements that lead to obesity while offering very little in actual nutritional value. But is this really fair? Ice cream is a dessert, not a main course, and we see it as a sometimes food or a treat; when looked at this way, the impact on American obesity doesn’t even approach something like beef, which is consumed almost every day and easily fattens you up.
But Dental Health…
While ice cream doesn’t have a noticeable impact on most American weighing scales, it does have an impact on dental health. In addition to coffee, cigarettes, hard candy, and soda, ice cream is considered among the greatest contributors to tooth decay. When you look at all of the worst foods you can subject your teeth to on an individual level, ice cream has a fighting chance for being the worst. Not only is ice cream sugary, which promotes plaque, bacteria and cavity growth in the mouth, but it is also eaten cold; actually, ice cream is typically the coldest thing that any of us eat, typically below freezing. Cold is incredibly damaging to teeth, as it weakens and thins enamel, effectively amplifying the damages from sugars and acids, both of which are also found in ice cream. Aside from an actual 1-2 punch, ice cream is probably the biggest single 1-2 punch you could deliver to your dental health.
Visit the Dentist
At the end of the day, eating ice cream doesn’t need to be avoided at all costs. To answer the original question of how dentists eat ice cream, we would say “regularly, just like anyone else!” If you take care of your teeth by brushing regularly, being conscious of your oral health habits, and visiting our Encino dentist’s office, then they will be just fine.