Summer Foods and Drinks with Lots of Sugar & What to Give Your Kids Instead

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Can you believe there’s only one month left of summer? Neither can we! That’s why the team at Innovative Pediatric Dentistry is soaking up everything summer has to offer before the colder weather begins to set in, including our favorite summer foods and drinks. We’re sure your kids are enjoying all the popsicles and ice cream too.

But while we love the warmer months as much as the patients at our Naperville pediatric dentistry office, the summer season also typically means a break from routine. Maybe you let your kids stay up a little later than usual or maybe you give them the OK to have that second scoop of ice cream. While this is no big deal in moderation, many summer treats contain a lot more sugar than you might think and can be harmful for your kids’ teeth.

To make sure your kids enjoy the rest of their summer vacation without suffering the effects of too much sugar (like hyperactivity, energy crashes or cavities), here’s a list of sugary summer faves and what to give your kids instead.

  1. Ice Cream & Gelato

This probably won’t come as much of a surprise, but ice cream (and its “healthier” cousin gelato) packs quite a sugary punch. One scoop of regular vanilla ice cream has about 14 grams of sugar, which is equal to nearly four teaspoons! Now imagine how much sugar is in your triple chocolate peanut butter cup fudge brownie ice cream…

We get that summer isn’t really summer without ice cream. So what if we told you that you could still give your kids their favorite summer treat without the unhealthy added sugar? With a few simple ingredients (mainly ripe or overripe bananas), you can make your own DIY ice cream that tastes so close to the real thing, your kids won’t even know the difference.

Here are a few cool flavors to try (and bonus, they’re all naturally gluten free and vegan!):

  1. Frozen Yogurt

Frozen yogurt is thought to be a healthy alternative for ice cream, but that’s not exactly true. While frozen yogurt typically contains less fat and calories than ice cream, the stuff you get at the grocery store or your favorite fro-yo shop is actually jam-packed full of sugar. In just half a cup of frozen yogurt, you’ll get around 24 grams of sugar — almost double the sugar content of that plain vanilla ice cream we talked about earlier. So before you let your kids dive into fro-yo heaven, piling on all those extra toppings and syrupy sauces, consider making your own frozen yogurt at home instead.

Frozen yogurt is incredibly easy to make. All you need is your favorite frozen fruit (raspberries, blueberries, mango, you name it) and plain yogurt — just make sure both are unsweetened. Then throw it all into a blender until smooth and serve it up with a spoon. Not only will your kids end up eating less sugar, they’ll get the added benefit of healthy probiotics that don’t usually survive the freezing process with big brands. There are so many different flavor combinations to try, so we can guarantee you’ll find a recipe to please even the pickiest eaters.

Tip: Want to make your DIY fro-yo vegan? Blend your frozen fruit up with your favorite non-dairy milk and freeze for a few hours before serving. Need a little more sweetness? Use a natural sweetener like honey or maple syrup.

  1. Popsicles

Who doesn’t love a frosty popsicle on a hot summer day? Popsicles are one of the most fun and easiest treats to enjoy when you need to cool down from the summer heat. Unfortunately, the big brand popsicles you know and love are full of artificial dyes and added sugars, which isn’t the best thing for your kiddos’ teeth. The good news is that it’s so simple to make healthy, 100% natural popsicles at home using whole food ingredients like real fruit, almond milk or raw cocoa.

No matter what flavor of popsicle you’re craving, there’s an easy way to give it a low-sugar, healthy upgrade. Watermelon fans, try this refreshing blend of strawberry, watermelon and lime. Chocoholics, whip up a batch of these vegan fudgesicles that have no added sugar. Whichever recipe you choose, just add all ingredients into a blender or food processor, blend until smooth, and then pour into popsicle molds to freeze. These healthy popsicles are so delicious that your kids will be asking for them all year round.

little boy smiling

Here’s What You Need to Know About Root Canals on Baby Teeth

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Often times, especially since our Naperville dentists for kids focus on prevention, we can avoid more extensive treatments like root canals on baby teeth. However, there are occasions when a primary tooth is damaged to the point that a root canal is recommended. This can be pretty surprising for parents. After all, the baby teeth are going to fall out anyway, so what’s the point in saving them? Well, those adorable little pearly whites serve a number of important purposes, including helping with chewing and speaking and saving room for the permanent teeth to erupt properly. That’s why if it isn’t close to the time when the tooth would fall out naturally, it can be beneficial to try and save it and opt for a baby root canal over an extraction.
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Common Dental Problems in Kids and How We Fix Them

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Considering we offer Naperville dental treatment for kids here at Innovative Pediatric Dentistry, we’ve pretty much seen it all. Yet, there are common dental problems in kids that tend to crop up more often than others, ranging from prolonged thumb sucking to childhood tooth decay. Sometimes, in spite of your very best oral hygiene efforts, issues occur. Hey, it happens. The good news is, we have the training, expertise and technology to treat kids’ dental problems quickly, comfortably and effectively so you can preserve their adorable little smile and let the primary teeth continue to play important roles in their oral development. These are the most common dental problems in kids and how we treat them at our pediatric dental practice:
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Teeth Infographic

When Do Kids Start to Lose Baby Teeth? Check Out Our Smile Timeline!

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When do babies get their first tooth? When do kids start to lose baby teeth? When does the first permanent tooth come in? As Naperville pediatric dentists, these are questions we hear all of the time. Of course, as parents, it’s natural to want to make sure your child’s oral development is on track. Well, first, we have to say, as with most things in your kiddo’s life, there is a fairly wide age range for what’s considered the norm. So, there’s no need to panic if your child’s first loose tooth doesn’t happen at six years on the nose even if their classmates are losing baby teeth left and right. To get a clearer understanding, we’ve put together a handy dandy, printable smile timeline.
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Two little girls brushing their teeth

New Year’s Resolutions for Kids’ Healthy Teeth and Gums

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Happy 2019! Now that a brand new year is underway and resolution season is in full swing, why not make some resolutions related to kids’ healthy teeth and gums? By prioritizing your child’s smile, you can set the stage for a lifetime of awesome oral health! Not sure where to start? Well, being the super helpful Naperville pediatric dentists we are, we’re sharing some great New Year’s resolutions for your kiddo’s pearly whites.
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kids coding at Codeverse

The Best Naperville Kids’ Activities to Get You Through the Winter

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There are a lot of things to love about winter: the holidays, building snowmen, winter break and hot chocolate to name a few.

However, with all of the fun stuff, sometimes, the cold weather can mean being stuck indoors, which tends to lead to stir crazy kids. It can be hard to consistently find things to do with kids in Naperville all winter long. Well, Innovative Pediatric Dentistry is here to the rescue!

We’ve rounded up some of our favorite Naperville kids’ activities to help you keep the little ones entertained this winter.
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Kids making holiday cookies

7 Tips for Keeping Kids’ Teeth Healthy During the Holiday Season

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The holiday season is quickly approaching. Of course, that means family fun, delicious meals, candles and lights galore, festive music and an abundance of cheer. However, it also means lots and lots of sugar! Unfortunately, the bacteria in the mouth love to snack on sweets and carbohydrates and when they do, they release acids that attack the tooth’s enamel, which can eventually lead to cavities. That’s why the holidays are the sugar bugs’ favorite time of year!
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How to Prepare Your Child for Their First Dental Visit

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The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends kids have their first dentist visit no later than their first birthday. These early appointments are super important for making sure your child’s smile is healthy and their oral development is on track. Yet, another big benefit is that going to the dentist young lets kids get comfortable and develop a rapport with the practice, making future visits a breeze. We know going to the dentist for the first time can be a little scary. Hey, even adults get nervous about the prospect sometimes! For the kiddos, a lot of this is just a fear of the unknown. There are a number of steps you can take to help alleviate these jitters. Here’s how to prepare your child for their first dental visit to ensure it runs smoothly:

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Baby Teething Guide: Signs, Remedies and What to Expect

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When your baby’s first tiny tooth makes its appearance, it’s a momentous occasion! As Naperville pediatric dentists, there’s nothing we love more than seeing a little one’s smile take shape. Yet, for parents, we know that baby teething often involves a few sleepless nights, uncertainty and lots of drool. To help give you peace of mind and make sure your child’s teething experience goes as smoothly as possible, we’ve put together a baby teething guide. We’re covering everything from the typical baby teeth order to the safest teething remedies. Let’s get started!
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