When you’re considering what to get the love of your life for Valentine’s Day, you might be thinking about a huge heart-shaped box filled with gooey, cream-filled chocolates or a night out at a restaurant gorging on decadent dinners and divine desserts.
Unfortunately, all those rich and sugary foods can wreak havoc on your teeth.
Here are a few ideas for tooth-friendly ways to show your love while protecting your teeth.
Make Those Valentine’s Chocolates Dark
Chocolates and Valentine’s Day go together like peanut butter and jelly, but those heart-shaped boxes full of assorted chocolates with rich, creamy centers are packed with tooth-damaging sugar. With less sugar and just as satisfying, choose dark chocolate that is at least 70 percent cocoa.
Consider a Crunchy Fruit Salad for Your Cutie
Instead of gooey chocolates or hard candies that could damage your teeth, consider beginning your romantic evening with a fresh fruit salad.
Homemade fresh fruit salads with apples, pears, grapes, and cherries are great for your teeth. The crunchiness of the apples and pears will help clean your teeth, and the vitamins and minerals will help support a healthy mouth. Top it off by whipping cream and adding a sprinkle of cinnamon instead of powdered sugar for an extra romantic, tooth-friendly touch.
Choose a Cheese and Cracker Appetizer
Cheese is a power food for teeth because it contains lots of calcium. It’s also a great alternative for Valentine’s Day because it’s delicious and feels like an extravagant treat. If you opt for Valentine’s dinner out, most restaurants can serve up a charcuterie with fine meats, cheeses, and condiments.
Strawberries dipped in Dark Chocolate & Other Fruity Delights
Many gift shops and even some creative flower shops offer custom fresh fruit bouquets, and strawberries dipped in dark chocolate. This is both a romantic and decadent treat, as fresh strawberries contain less sugar than traditional Valentine’s Day candies, and when they’re dipped in dark chocolate, you’ll be treating your honey with dessert that is both teeth-friendly and loaded with antioxidants.
If you choose a fresh fruit bouquet, choose one that focuses on crunchy fruits, like apples, pears, and mangoes, rather than soft fruits, for the additional oral health benefits.
Create Your Own Frozen Yogurt with Fresh Fruit
Ice cream is a rich, decadent treat for Valentine’s Day, but all of that sugar is tough on your teeth. Instead, consider low or no-sugar plain frozen yogurt, which is just as decadent, especially when you mix it with your favorite fresh fruits. Simply toss the frozen yogurt in your food processor, add the fresh fruit and blend. In a matter of minutes, you will have a delicious dessert that is also good for your teeth.
Let Them Eat (Sugar-free) Cake
Nothing says “I love you” quite like homemade baked goods. If you’re considering baking cakes or pies for your love this Valentine’s Day, consider substituting the sugar for something more teeth-friendly.
When you bake a cake, substitute applesauce or fruit puree for the sugar. No-sugar-added fruit juice is a perfect substitute for sugar and other liquids when you bake a pie. For example, if you are baking an apple pie, use apple juice instead of sugar. If you are baking a cherry pie, try to find a no-sugar-added cherry juice or frozen concentrate.
Show Them You Love Their Smile!
There are many ways to say, “I love you.” By choosing mouth and teeth healthy Valentine’s Day alternatives, you show your loved one that you truly care, not just for their oral health, but for their overall health. What a wonderful way to say, “Happy Valentine’s Day!”
Williams & Daily Dental is a family and cosmetic dentist located in North Raleigh, NC with a team of dedicated dentists enthusiastic in their commitment to their patients. Contact Williams & Daily at (919) 846-9070 for more information and to schedule an appointment today.