Summer is here! You can maintain a healthy summer smile without having to give up many of your favorite activities and foods!
Summertime enjoying the much-awaited break, slow down and perhaps soak up a little more time with family and friends. Summertime is not the time to forget about your dental care routines as could be the likely case with a majority of people. It is also common for many to experience an increased craving for ice cream and cold beverages during the heat of the day, which might not go well as far as oral hygiene is concerned.
Here are a few tips to keep your teeth and gums healthy this summer!
During the summer, you’ll probably be taking advantage of the warm weather by spending a lot of time in the sun. You probably know that sun protection is important, but did you realize how vital it is in safeguarding yourself from oral cancer? The lips are often forgotten when people apply sunscreen, and Concord, CA dentists would like you to know how important protecting your lips is. With average temperatures reaching over 90 degrees during summer, and having many of our patients working outdoors these dentists in Concord, CA see too much lip cancer.
If you think that regular lip balms can protect your lips from damage, remember this: shiny lip glosses only magnify the sun’s rays and enhance damage. And, the majority of lip balms and lipsticks do not contain sunscreen. Consider wearing a lip balm or gloss with an SPF of 30 or higher, or layer your lip gloss or lipstick over a lip balm containing sunscreen. Men and women are equally susceptible to sun damage, although men over 40 who work outside are more likely to develop lip cancer.
While those symptoms don’t necessarily indicate lip cancer, but you should report any unusual changes in your lips or mouth to your dentist or physician. Dr. Lee can check your mouth for signs of oral cancer during a routine dental exam.
It is important to be aware of the symptoms of lip cancer in case your lips are damaged by the sun. A sore on the lip or in the mouth that doesn’t heal, lump on or thickening of the lips, pain, bleeding, or numbness on the lips or in the mouth. Remember: Covering a few extra inches of skin with sun protection could end up saving your smile and your life!
Outdoor games are typical activities during summer especially for the children and young adults. During these activities, physical contacts are inevitable and thus it would be a good idea to ensure that delicate parts such as the teeth are protected. Mouth guards will serve this purpose well by protecting the teeth from getting knocked out, chipping and prevent concussions.
Swimming frequently in pools may expose you to the risk of getting discolored teeth. This is attributed to the high chlorine content in most pools that lead to weak and eroded teeth. For frequent swimmers, brushing your teeth after the activity will minimize the damage this water can cause to your teeth.
Yet, this doesn’t mean that you’ll have to cut out all the fun parts of your summer. Rather, by following the tips below, you can be sure of enjoying the good weather without worrying much about your next dental visit.
7 Best summer oral health tips!
- Hydrate! Stay Hydrated With Water! Choose water over sports drinks, juice or soda. The sugar in sports drinks, juice and soda mixes with the saliva in your mouth and produces acids that eat away at your precious tooth enamel! Water is one of the essential components in your body when it comes to protecting your teeth from decay. Keeping your body hydrated will facilitate the production of saliva to help prevent tooth degeneration. Remember that you are bound to lose a lot of water during the hot days and thus taking water on a regular basis will be good for your dental health.
- Get a New Toothbrush! If it’s been 3 months since you last changed your family’s toothbrush, it’s time to get a new one! As a dental rule of thumb, you are supposed to use your toothbrush for a maximum period of three months before replacing it. Remember to extend this routine into the summer to ensure that you are on the right side of the rule.
- Eat Ice Cream? If you must eat sweets, choose ice cream instead of sticky candy. Candy can attach to teeth! Residual ice cream is easy to wash away with a quick glass of water afterwards. Plus, it refreshing on a warn summer day! It is tempting to relax when it comes to observing some of the vital routines during summer such as having a breakfast. However, it is important to understand that this first meal of the day is the most crucial of all meals. Consuming a healthy breakfast helps to reduce cravings for unhealthy foods during the day, thereby protecting your teeth from such foods.
- Establish A Brushing Routine! Stress the urgency of tooth brushing to your kids. The normal routine of school will be a distant memory, so have them focus on a solid night and morning tooth brushing routine. That way, when school is back in session, it’ll be second nature.
- Focus On The First Meal Of The Day! Focus on eating a healthy breakfast. Sometimes mornings can be rushed during the school year. If you have more time, try to focus on stepping away from the quick, sugary cereals, and on to a well-balanced breakfast full of fruits, whole grains and protein – not processed sugar.
- Protect your smile! Use proper mouth protection while playing outdoor summer sports like baseball, soccer and basketball. Though it might seem unconventional, using a mouth guard can prevent damage to braces or other orthodontic work, as well as prevent mouth cuts, jaw injuries and tooth damage.
- Don’t forget to floss! – It’s always important to floss, but when what you’re eating is likely to get stuck between your teeth it’s especially important to get rid of any food particles that are stuck between teeth.
- Go To The Dentist! Make a follow up appointment for your children – there’s more time in the summer to go to the dentist. Make sure you take advantage of the time to get any necessary procedures done!
Downtown Concord Dental strongly believes in preventive dentistry as the best possible means of maintaining optimum oral health. Preventive dental care can help each member of your family maintain a beautiful, healthy smile by safeguarding against oral diseases, like dental decay, gum disease, or periodontal disease. Our goal is to prevent these diseases from happening in the first place or to catch the problems in their early stages when they are easier and less expensive to treat.