In order to maintain good dental health during the summer, you must maintain a good dental care routine. Brush your teeth twice a day, floss once a day, and visit the dentist every six months for a routine cleaning.
However, there are other threats to your dental health that may arise during the summer months. Here are 5 ways to protect your dental health during the summer.
Stick with Water
Keeping hydrated in brutal Texas heat can be difficult. In fact, being dehydrated can have a negative impact on your dental health.
A common symptom of dehydration is a dry mouth and swollen tongue. Saliva helps rinse your mouth of food particles and plaque, which are the perfect combination for tooth decay. Without enough saliva, your mouth is at greater risk of infection (including both tooth decay and gum disease).
Drinking water throughout the entire day will both keep you hydrated and protect your dental health. Water doesn’t contain the sugars or acids that lead to tooth decay.
Don’t Chew on Ice
While it may seem like an effective way to hydrate yourself, chewing on ice cubes poses a threat to your dental health.
The hard cubes can crack, chip, or break your teeth. They can even damage any dental work in your mouth. If your tooth is cracked below your gum line, your tooth will have to be removed.
Avoid chewing on ice to cool down and choose a glass of cool water instead.
Protect Your Lips
Many people are good at applying sunscreen on sunny days. However, a vulnerable part of your mouth is often overlooked – your lips. Delta Dental reports that 63% of sunscreen users don’t protect their lips.
Sun exposure on the lips increases a person’s chances of lip cancer. The best way to reduce your risk is to keep your lips covered in a protective lip balm.
In order to be effective, your chapstick or lip balm must have an SPF of at least 15. Look for a lip balm with broad spectrum coverage; this protects your lips from both UVA and UVB rays.
Remember to reapply the lip balm multiple times throughout the day for optimal protection.
Ditch the Suckers
A common summer treat for kids is a delicious sucker. However, this can seriously damage your child’s teeth.
There is a constant layer of plaque forming on your teeth, and this plaque contains bacteria. The bacteria feed on sugars in the foods you eat and produce harmful acids that eat away at enamel.
If your child is eating a sucker, they’re bathing their teeth in sugar for a long period of time. This can lead to tooth decay.
Look for a sugar-free sucker, or better yet, give your child sugar-free gum (which can help protect your teeth).
Go to the Dentist Before Traveling
If you’re traveling out of town, whether across the country or across the world, make sure you visit the dentist before you go.
The dentist can check for any potential problems and treat them before you leave. You may not have access to good dental care if you need it while you’re traveling. Also, your regular dentist knows your mouth and dental history, an advantage that dentists in other cities and countries don’t have.
While summer means vacation time for many families, it’s important not to take a vacation from your dental care. Use these tips to help protect your dental health during the summer and during the other 3 seasons.
For more information or to schedule a dental appointment, contact Greenspoint Dental in Houston, Texas. We are dedicated to providing you and your loved ones with the best dental care.