4 Ways to Protect Your Smile This Summer
We don’t have to explain how hot it can get in the summer in Snellville, GA.
On the upside, we get to enjoy more daylight. That means longer get-togethers with family and friends, and more time we can spend relaxing or playing. Summer is a great time for a barbecue or to take on a ballgame.
But it also can pose some particular problems for your mouth. Today, our team at Parkway Dental is offering four suggestions for things you can do to keep your healthy smile intact this summer … and many more summers to come.
One thing you can do any time of year is schedule a dental cleaning and exam at our office. Call (770) 676-1122 today to set up an appointment for yourself or your family if you haven’t already done so.
1. Drink Water
This is one of the simplest things that anyone can do to help their oral health.
It’s become far too easy to reach for a soft drink or a sports drink on a hot summer day. All of us would be doing ourselves a favor if we stuck with tap water most of the time.
Many popular soft drinks have between 30 and 44 grams of sugar in a 12-ounce can. Many sports drinks contain more than 50 grams of sugar per bottle.
To put that in perspective, that’s more sugar than you will find in many candy bars. If you are working out or playing for less than an hour, many times water provides all the benefits you need.
If you are spending more than an hour exercising or working in the heat, take a closer look at the labels before you decide what you will use to keep yourself hydrated. With a little effort, you can find options that won’t raise your risk of cavities while helping you recover from your hard work.
Avoiding sugar isn’t the only reason to stick to water, however.
Dehydration is bad for your overall health, and one of the signs of dehydration is a dry mouth.
As uncomfortable as that can be for us, it’s a great place for the harmful bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease. When your mouth is dry, you aren’t producing the saliva that can rinse the bacteria away before it can form plaque.
By drinking water regularly, you can continue making saliva.
2. Wear a Mouthguard
We love our sports in Georgia, and summer is one of the most active times of the year.
Sports are great for a lot of reasons. They can teach us the value of hard work and teamwork. Plus, they can be really fun to play, and they can provide the motivation we need to stay in shape.
Many sports require protective equipment, but there is one thing you should be wearing whether it’s required or not. Athletic mouthguards should be worn by any athlete who runs, jumps, catches or throws things, or gets physical with other people playing that same sport.
Mouthguards are one of the many family dental services that we offer.
Many kids will be gearing up for the fall football season before you know it, but there’s no reason to wait until then to get a mouthguard. Baseball and basketball players actually suffer more dental injuries than football players in the United States.
In particular, the American Dental Association, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, and other professional dental organizations recommend wearing custom-made mouthguards. All sports mouthguards provide some protection for your smile, but a better fit equals better protection.
Custom-made mouthguards also tend to be smaller than the bulky boil-and-bite mouthguards you can find in stores. As result, you can breathe, drink water, and speak to your coaches and teammates without feeling the need to remove your mouthguard.
And when you (or your kids) have a mouthguard that’s more comfortable to wear, you will be more likely to wear it while you are playing or practicing your sport of choice.
3. Snack Healthy
We know it’s tempting for kids to come running when they hear an ice cream truck rolling down the block. We won’t deny that a cold ice cream cone is one of the best treats on a hot summer day.
Enjoying a sweet treat enjoy now and again is fine, but if you find that you are shelling out for two scoops every afternoon, that’s probably more ice cream than you need.
Earlier, we noted that one of the important reasons drink fewer soft drinks and sports drinks is to cut back on sugar. The same thing applies to the snacks that you and your family eat during the summer break from school.
One of the easiest ways to encourage your kids to eat healthy snacks is to keep them handy. Carrots and other vegetables along with fresh fruits are a better option for everyone.
We aren’t saying that you should never let your kids (or yourself) enjoy a Popsicle, just try not to make it an everyday thing.
4. Keep Up Your Oral Hygiene
It’s equally important to remember the basics of good oral health. Spending days out in the sun can be tiring, but don’t let that keep you from taking care of your teeth.
With just five minutes (total) from your day, you can do a lot to keep your mouth healthy and your teeth in your mouth.
Twice a day, for two minutes each time, you should brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush. Remember to scrub your teeth on all sides to remove bacteria and plaque.
To keep your mouth as healthy as it can be, you also need to floss with dental floss or a water flosser. This is the best way to remove food particles and plaque from the places your toothbrush can’t reach.
Pay Us a Visit
We look forward to seeing all our patients — old and new — at Parkway Dental. Summer also is a great time to schedule one of your twice annual cleanings and exams.