Summer is in full swing, which means you’re probably looking at a calendar filled with vacations, excursions and all kinds of fun activities that have you out and about. As great as summer is, all the things that come with it can come with a price—to your oral health, believe it or not. Still, there are ways to ensure that your gums, teeth and total mouth stay in tip-top shape, even with all the excitement of summer.
Hydrate and watch what you eat
Staying hydrated is important to oral health as well as your overall health. Avoid drinks high in sugar and acid and be aware that carbonated beverages, fruit juices and energy drinks can be harmful for your oral health. Sipping them throughout the day risks tooth decay and dental erosion. The foods you eat also play a factor in tooth decay. “People consume more sugar-rich foods and drinks during the summer months,” says Dr. Shaghayegh Madani of Alexandria Dental Art. “This includes ice cream, frozen desserts, slushies, cocktails, soft drinks and juices.”
Stick to your normal dental routine
Whether you’re out late with friends or just watching Netflix at home, make sure you don’t abandon your dental routine. Keeping your mouth healthy is always a priority, so don’t skip brushing just because you’re off your normally-scheduled programming. Make sure you brush twice a day and always remember to floss.
As much fun as it can be, summer can also be extremely hectic—which is why being focused on oral health before something goes wrong is important. Make sure you book your regular dentist appointment and keep it, even with all the traveling you may have scheduled. This ensures that any small problems can be treated early and don’t leave you needing emergency treatment while you’re away from home.
Use your teeth wisely
Do you crunch ice or open things like bottles or packets with your teeth? Don’t. Doing those things puts oral health at risk. Don’t even use them to hold or carry things when you’ve got too many things in your hands. Accidents happen when you’re not using your teeth for their intended use.
Get some sun and play smart
Sunlight helps your body produce vitamin D, which helps your immune system. It also helps prevent gum disease. Get a safe amount of sun and wear sunscreen on your body, but also protect your lips. If you’re playing sports, Dr. Madani suggests wearing a mouth guard. “This will keep your teeth safe and healthy while enjoying these activities.”