Dental Hygiene in the Summertime

Dental Hygiene in the Summertime

Pool parties, backyard BBQs, and family vacations can only mean one thing: it’s finally summer!  While the summer often helps us relax, take a break from routine, and indulge in some delicious summertime treats, it doesn’t have to mean neglecting your dental hygiene.  Here are three tips to help keep your teeth clean and healthy this summer.

  1. No routine doesn’t have to mean no dental hygiene routine.

When the kids are home for the summer, this is the perfect opportunity to ease up on things like busy schedules and strict bedtimes.  However, when kids get out of their normal routines, it may be tempting for them to neglect tasks that they were used to doing during the school year.  Even when your kids stay up past their usual bedtime or they sleep later in the mornings, make sure they are still practicing good dental hygiene habits.

Remember that your children should be brushing their teeth for two minutes at least twice a day, as well as flossing once a day.  One way to supervise your children as they brush their teeth is to brush your teeth with them.  Not only does this help keep all of you on track, but it’s also a great way to spend time together as a family.

  1. Limit your sweet summertime treats.

There are many delicious foods and drinks that feel like summer must-haves.  While it is completely fine to occasionally indulge in these treats, we want to encourage you to limit your sugar intake.  Sugar causes tooth decay and wears away the enamel on your teeth.  Without enamel to protect your teeth, holes slowly start to form on the tooth’s surface which is how cavities are formed.

Consider trying sugar-free options to some of your summer favorites like sugar-free lemonade or sports drinks and diet sodas.  The good news is there are some summertime foods that are actually good for your teeth.  Watermelon, for example, stimulates saliva in your mouth.  Saliva is our body’s natural teeth-cleaner and helps wash away germs and prevent plaque.  Other fruits like apples and strawberries can also be good for your mouth because they have a high concentration of malic acid which brightens your tooth enamel.  They also contain Vitamin C which helps strengthen your gums and fights gingivitis.

  1. Practice good dental hygiene even on vacation.

Don’t forget to pack your toothbrush and dental floss when you go on vacation this summer.  While it can be tempting to neglect your usual dental hygiene habits when you’re on vacation, because you will more-than-likely be treating yourself to some extra sweets while you’re away, it’s even more important to brush and floss regularly.  When traveling with your toothbrush, make sure you put it in a separate travel case or resealable baggie to keep it away from germs.  Finally, when traveling outside of the U.S. if the water quality is questionable, it’s always a good idea to brush your teeth and clean your toothbrush with bottled water.

We hope that this summer is filled with plenty of rest and relaxation as well as lots of quality family time.   And while you enjoy the summer, we hope you’ll consider these three dental hygiene tips.  When the summer comes to an end, don’t forget to schedule checkups and dental cleanings for you and your family.  We would love for you to make an appointment with us at Cornerstone Family Dentistry so we can help give you and your family bright and healthy smiles.