The living’s easy in the summer, right? The kids are home from school, your office has switched to summer hours, and you have more time to relax and kick back.
When it comes to the health of your teeth, however, you don’t want to relax too much during the summer months. It’s still important to keep up your oral care routine and to see your dentist whenever you have a concern about your teeth and gums. As you get ready for the warmer, more carefree days of summer, here’s what you can do to keep your teeth and gums as healthy as can be.
Stay Hydrated With Water
Obviously, the temperatures tend to climb during summer. One day, it might be 85 degrees, the next, 90, and the next almost 99. Even if you aren’t running around outdoors, it’s still important to stay hydrated when it’s super hot outside.
Grabbing a bottle of lemonade or a sports drink might seem like a great way to hydrate. Sports drinks, in particular, are formulated with electrolytes to help you stay hydrated. They also tend to be high in sugar, which can increase your risk of cavities and tooth decay.
To keep your teeth in great shape, trade your sports drinks and other sugary beverages in for water this summer. You’ll stay just as hydrated with a bottle or two of water as you would with a bottle of Gatorade and your teeth will be in better shape because of it.
Enjoy Summer Snacks That Are Good for Your Teeth
When it comes to summer snacks and treats, some are better for your teeth than others. Popsicles and push-pops are usually loaded with sugar, which you already know is bad news for your teeth. Treats like caramel corn can get stuck between your teeth or even cause you to chip or crack a tooth.
Fortunately, there are cool, summer-y snack options that can help to keep your teeth clean and that won’t put you at risk for a chipped or cracked tooth. Raw vegetables such as carrots and celery help to scrub other food bits and plaque off of your teeth. The same is true of raw apples. As an added benefit, snacking on raw vegetables and crisp fruit that have been refrigerated can help to keep you cool in the summer heat.
Other snacks that are good news for the health of your teeth include almonds, which are high in calcium and low in sugar (choose a roasted or raw variety without added sugar) and cheese, which is another good source of calcium and delivers a dose of protein.
Avoid Dental Emergencies
Summer might be full of fun, but some of that fun also brings with it the risk of dental injuries. You or your child could get hit in the mouth while playing a summer sport or you could knock your teeth on the concrete or tiled side of a pool.
While focusing on preventing injuries is always a good idea, there are also ways to protect your teeth when you’re playing sports or swimming. One way to do that is to wear a mouthguard during any activity that could involve contact.
Another way to avoid dental emergencies and to protect your teeth is to avoid putting anything that isn’t food or a toothbrush in your mouth. Chewing on ice might seem like a good way to cool off, but it can cause you to chip a tooth. Using your mouth to open a bag of chips or a bottle of water might also seem like a quick solution to a problem but can cause long-term damage to your teeth.
Make a Plan for Your Teeth
Summer can be the perfect time to schedule your family’s next dental cleanings and exams. Since the summer months tend to be quieter and less busy, you might want to take advantage of the extra room in your schedule by scheduling any dental work you might need, such as non-surgical gum disease treatments or wisdom teeth extraction.
Want to learn more about what you can do to protect your teeth this summer? Dr. John Paul Gallardo is a periodontal specialist in the Miami area who also provides dental cleanings, exams, and dental implants. To learn more about his practice in Miami, FL, call 305-547-8687 to schedule a consultation today.