02 Jun 2017 Oral Health Tips for Summer
Summer may be vacation time, but it’s important not to take a vacation from your oral health practices. Dental emergencies may occur when you’re on vacation, and many summer sports increase the risk of a mouth injury. Here are some basic ways to have healthy teeth and a healthy mouth when fall rolls around.
Summer is no time to slack off on the basics. Continue to floss daily and brush your teeth twice a day. Summer is also a good time to make sure you’re up to date on preventive exams for kids. It’s a lot easier to schedule preventive cleaning and examinations in the summer when school is out. If you need care such as a filling, it’s also easier to get that scheduled as well.
Dental emergencies typically occur either because you’ve got some decay or an infection, or from an injury. Contact sports may result in a broken or chipped tooth. In some cases, your tooth could even be knocked out. Carry a dental emergency kit that contains some gauze, a small container with a tight-fitting lid, saline solution and water, as well as a handkerchief. If you lose a tooth, these can help keep it safe until you can get to your dentist.
Swimming and Oral Health
Chemically treated water contains a variety of additives. As a result the water in swimming pools is usually much more acidic than saliva. The acids break down salivary proteins that would otherwise protect the teeth. Swimming six or more hours a week increases the risk of developing “swimmer’s calculus,” a hard brown deposit that usually shows up on the front teeth. Your dentist can remove swimmer’s calculus with a professional cleaning.
A Healthy Diet
Summer tends to be a time for quick meals and all too often fast foods grabbed in between swimming practice, softball games or other hot-weather activities. It’s important to limit sweets (choose fresh fruit instead) and to eat crunchy vegetables like celery or carrots to promote healthy teeth. Foods high in calcium, like leafy greens and dairy
products, promote tooth health as well.
It’s important to stay well-hydrated in the hot days of summer. Water is the best choice.
Sip it throughout the day to help wash away bacteria and keep your mouth moist. Tea is
also good, as it contains compounds to suppress harmful bacteria (make sure it’s
unsugared). Soft drinks that contain sugar are a tooth disaster. Even diet soft drinks are
still high in acid that can erode tooth enamel. If you’re going to have a soft drink, use a
straw so contact with your teeth is limited; drink it quickly rather than sipping, to reduce
the time it remains in contact with your teeth.
These helpful strategies can ensure that fall will find you with healthy teeth and a
healthy mouth. Don’t take a vacation from your oral health needs this summer.