Protect Your Smile Over Summer Break

Many families consider Memorial Day the start of summer break – especially those families lucky enough to call Houston home where the high temperatures already make it feel like summer. But some of the things that go hand-in-hand with summer, such as pools and popsicles, can lead to big dental issues. That’s why the start of summer is a good time to talk about how to protect your smile over the summer break. No Summer Slacking Let’s be honest. When school’s out, we get a little laxer about our routines. This often includes our oral care routines. We aren’t as likely to be standing behind our kids reminding them how to brush their teeth properly as we would be during the school year. Our bedtime routines are more relaxed, so kids may skip brushing and just go to bed. Even though summer is more relaxed, you absolutely should not slack on your oral hygiene routine! You should stick to the daily tooth brushing and flossing routines. A summer without proper oral hygiene can cause lasting damage to your teeth. Drink Plenty of Water When it is hot, it is important to drink plenty of fluids. But it is important to drink the right fluids. While drinks like lemonade are popular during the summer, you want to avoid sugary beverages. You should also avoid carbonated beverages. Instead, you should choose to drink water. And, when given a choice, choose to drink tap water over bottled water since it likely has fluoride in it. Fluoride strengthens your teeth and prevents cavities. Eat Healthy Snacks Having a filled fridge and pantry is important for summer snacking. With the kids home all day, they tend to eat more snacks than they do during the school year. That’s why parents should be sure to fill the snack cabinets with healthy foods instead of sugary treats. For example, stock up on healthy fruits and vegetables instead of offering bags of chips and plates of cookies. It is also important to recognize that popular summer treats like popsicles and ice cream are not great for your teeth. Popsicles are sugary, and just the type of treat tooth-decaying bacteria loves. When possible, opt for summer treats made with real fruit instead. Schedule Dental Appointments Regular dental checkups and cleanings are important for maintaining good oral health. Early summer is a great time to schedule these annual visits because they don’t make kids miss school. It also gives you a little extra time to get extra dental work done if needed, and it means your family will start the next school year with brighter, healthier smiles while beating the August rush. Greenspoint Dental in Houston is currently accepting new patients, so give us a call today! Wear Mouthguards Did you know that dental injuries are the most common type of facial injury in sports? This is often because they are not required to wear a mouthguard. Colgate claims, “According to the American Dental Association (ADA), more than 200,000 oral injuries are prevented each year by wearing a mouthguard.” When your kids are playing summer sports, including water sports, they should wear a mouthguard to protect their teeth. Follow Pool Rules Going to the pool is a great way to cool off on a hot summer day, but pool injuries are common. Often, these pool injuries are a direct result of kids not obeying pool rules, such as no running on the pool deck. The Daily Floss reports, “Swimming pool accidents are the number one cause of dental emergencies during the summer, according to the AGD (Academy of General Dentistry).” Speaking of the pool, too much chlorine exposure can cause tooth damage. Colgate claims, “Pools with too much chlorine contain pH levels that can cause enamel erosion as water occasionally seeps into your mouth during your swim session. And in recent years, more and more evidence shows the connection between improperly chlorinated pools and tooth damage.” Therefore, after the pool session, make sure your family brushes their teeth! Pack an Emergency Kit You never know when a dental emergency may occur, so it is wise to prepare a dental emergency kit that you can take with you on your summer travels. Your dental emergency kit should contain the following items:
  • Gauze
  • Cotton Balls
  • Cotton Swabs
  • Saline Solution (or make your own with bottled water and a salt packet)
  • Over-the-counter Pain Relievers (such as Tylenol)
  • Latex or Nitrile Gloves
  • Ice Pack (or cold compress)
  • Over-the-counter gel anesthetic (such as Orajel)
  • Floss
  • A Dental Mirror
  • Dental Wax
  • Vaseline
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
By having supplies for possible dental emergencies, you will be able to take care of the injured person until you can get him or her to see the local dentist. Don’t let a dental emergency ruin your summer vacation. Protect Your Lips from the Sun At this point, most people know the importance of wearing sun protection (SPF) to protect their skin. But, many people don’t realize they should take just as much care of their lips. No, your teeth can’t get sunburnt, but your lips can suffer from too much sun. According to Elizabeth Tanzi, founder and director of Capital Laser & Skin Care, and associate clinical professor in the department of dermatology at George Washington University Medical Center, “People forget to protect their lips […] Skin cancer in this area can be particularly dangerous, which is why everyone needs lip balm with SPF.” Contact Greenspoint Dental in Houston for Summer Dental Emergencies Whether you are vacationing in Houston this summer or call Houston home, the dental care team at Greenspoint Dental will take excellent care of your summer dental emergencies. You can call us to schedule an emergency appointment. We are also available for minor dental issues. For example, if you happen to notice your teeth hurt after drinking an ice-cold drink or eating a spoonful of ice cream, we can perform a dental exam to find the cause. Have fun, stay safe, and brush your teeth!