Summer is right around the corner, which means warmer temperatures and plenty of sunshine. To keep cool and make the most of the season, you likely can’t wait to head outside to enjoy the sunshine with your favorite treat in hand. Unfortunately, you might unknowingly be causing damage to your oral health. Don’t worry– you can still enjoy summer by following 4 simple tips to protect your smile.
1. Don’t Ignore Tooth Sensitivity
Ice cream and other cold treats are a great way to beat the heat; however, if you have tooth sensitivity, they can cause discomfort. If the problem is ongoing, it can be a sign of an untreated dental issue, like a cavity or exposed tooth roots from gum disease. It’s best to contact your dentist right away if the sensitivity persists. They’ll pinpoint the source of your pain to provide quick intervention. You can lessen the risk of tooth sensitivity by avoiding abrasive dental products that can strip away your enamel. It’s also a good idea to skip acidic foods and drinks, like lemonade and soda, which are known to increase sensitivity.
2. Skip Sugary Drinks
An ice-cold drink is perfect on a hot summer day, but your dentist recommends avoiding those that contain a lot of sugar, like sodas, sports drinks, and lemonade. When bacteria in your mouth eats leftover sugar on your teeth, it creates an acidic plaque that will erode your enamel, leading to tooth decay. Instead, choose tap water to stay hydrated and keep your smile healthy. If you can’t skip a sweet drink, don’t constantly sip it throughout the day because it prolongs your teeth’ exposure tothe sugar that fuels cavity-causing bacteria. Drink it quickly, and after you’ve finished your beverage, rinse your mouth with water.
3. Protect Your Smile from Summer Sports
Warmer temperatures offer the ideal opportunity to head outdoors to participate in various physical activities, like baseball, roller skating, or soccer. Although it’s great you’re staying fit and active, you don’t want to place your smile at risk of a broken or knocked out tooth. You can safeguard against an unplanned trip to the dentist with an athletic mouthguard. It will provide a protective barrier for the teeth and gums to lessen the severity of an injury if there’s an impact to the face or mouth. Research also shows they can decrease jaw injuries and even concussions.
4. Limit Sweet Snacks
Between the kids being out of school and going on family vacations, your snacking habits might increase, which will also raise the risk of cavities. Instead of cookies, cakes, and chips, choose healthier alternatives, like fresh fruits and vegetables or low-fat dairy products.
Enjoy a Healthy Summer Smile
Before your summer becomes too busy, don’t forget to schedule an appointment with your dentist for a cleaning and checkup. They’ll ensure your smile is healthy to avoid an unexpected visit to the dentist to make the most of your down time.
About Dr. Gary P. Hutnik
Dr. Hutnik earned his dental degree at the University of Michigan. He has over 30 years of experience creating generations of healthy, beautiful smiles. He is a proud member of various dental organizations, including the American Dental Association. As a family man, he understands the importance of compassionate, quality care. If you need a cleaning and checkup, contact our office today to schedule an appointment.