Summer is here, which means a season full of vacations, outdoor adventures and great memories to be had in the warmer weather. Some might read the above title and think “Summer oral health tips? That seems oddly specific. Is that even necessary?” The answer is yes!
Summer is great for relaxing with friends and family, but Endodontic Specialists remind our Colorado patients that it isn’t the time to take a break from good oral health habits.
This season can be full of fun distractions and with that comes potentially poor decisions that can lead to dental injury and tooth decay. The good news is that there are many ways that you can be proactive in protecting the oral health of you and your family.
Top Oral Health Tips During Summer
Follow along as we walk through the best tips for keeping teeth strong while on your summer vacation.
Establish a Summer Routine
With summer schedules being a lot more flexible than usual (especially with kids out of school), it’s important to still have a daily routine. Ensure tooth brushing and flossing are part of the normal chores in the morning and before bed. It’s tempting to let brushing go by the wayside when kids are up late playing in the backyard and then crashing inside, but they need to maintain regularity and consistency in daily tooth care to avoid tooth decay.
Limit Sugary Drinks
As the heat rises, it’s oh-so-tempting to sip on cold, sweet drinks to stay cool. Soda, juice, lemonade and sports drinks contain high concentrations of sugar and tend to be acidic, which can lead to tooth decay and enamel erosion. Limit the number of sweet beverages and opt for water when you can. Not only that, water will rehydrate much better than sugary drinks will while you and the family are out on hikes or biking — especially at our high altitudes.
Choose Healthy Foods
A lot of summer activities involve time away from the house. For family outings in the mountains, out fishing, or down the street at the park, pack a cooler or bag of snacks, but be selective. Choose tooth-friendly foods like baby carrots, celery and apples or healthy snacks like string cheese, yogurt, whole grain crackers or plain nuts.
Like drinks mentioned above, a lot of summer treats are loaded with sugar. Popsicles, candy, funnel cakes, and barbeque sauce are sugary foods that can contribute to cavities and eventual decay. We know kiddos love sugar, but try and look for low-sugar or sugar-free options and pack healthy snacks.
Don’t Chew Ice
Chewing on ice may be popular and a “fun” way to stay cool, but believe us when we say it can be extremely damaging and could cause a cracked tooth, leading to infection. Instead, opt for the best and safest option – a tall cold glass of water.
Wear Protective Equipment for Sporting Activities
Another big contributor to patients in our office during the summer months are accidents that happen during sporting activities. Summer is a great time for people to get outside but unfortunately, being active can come with dental accidents. Making sure that you and your family have proper safety equipment and make good decisions reduce the possibility of oral damage. Be sure to wear your helmets and mouthguards, avoid crazy and dangerous tricks, and be generally aware of your surroundings.
Use Proper Toothbrush Storage When Traveling
It’s easy to overlook your toothbrush when you’re traveling, and you might be tempted to just toss it in your bag the morning you leave. Unfortunately, this can cause bacteria growth, as luggage is a dark, damp place. Keep your toothbrush as dry as possible and don’t leave it in a closed container for too long. When you get to your destination or back home, rinse and store upright. For more toothbrush storage recommendations, check out the CDC’s recommendations.
Schedule a Summer Dental Appointment
The summer is the perfect time to get into see your dentist or endodontist for your examination and cleaning. Without the pressures of getting the kids out of school early, it can be a great time to focus on their oral health and prevent more costly situations down the road. If the tissue surrounding your teeth needs work, feel free to go ahead and look at endospec’s services and get an appointment booked!
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Summer is one of the best seasons, but it is also important to follow our oral health tips in order to prevent any serious problems from occurring. With all of the tips described above you and your family leave this summer smiling without issue.
If you still need to get in this summer to see an endodontist or have had an accident that needs immediate attention, please call Endodontic Specialists today to schedule your appointment over the phone or online.