Summer is finally here! Bring on the sunshine, swimming pools, and summer vacations! While this season brings with it many exciting things, we thought it was a great opportunity to point out our 5 summertime dental care tips and tricks so that your teeth and mouth can also enjoy a great summer.
- Bring on the good foods. This summer load up on in-season fruits and vegetables. Fruits like apples and pears are great for the teeth because they increase salivation and stimulate your gums. Leafy greens like spinach and kale are rich in calcium and folic acid which strengthen the teeth. And while drinking plenty of water is important in the summer because of the hot temperatures and because much time is spent outdoors, water is also vital for your dental hygiene. Drinking water helps clean your teeth between meals by washing away leftover food particles and germs. In addition, most water contains fluoride which is a natural cavity fighter and will help keep your teeth and gums healthy.
- Minimize those summer sugary treats. Let’s face it, summer means every now and then you may indulge in some ice cream—and that’s ok! Just remember that sugar is not good for your teeth. When you consume sugar, bacteria in your mouth produce acid that slowly eats away at your teeth. Eventually this acid destroys the enamel on your teeth and cavities are formed. Treating yourself every now and then this summer is ok, but try to drink plenty of water to wash away the sugar, brush your teeth as soon as possible, and limit your sugar intake as much as possible.
- Protect your lips. We often don’t think about our lips when it comes to oral care, but lips are important and need plenty of protection this summer. Just like the rest of your body, your lips are susceptible to the sun’s radiation which can cause skin cancer. Additionally, if your lips get sun burned it will make regular oral hygiene like brushing and flossing more difficult. This summer make sure you are protecting your lips by wearing a lip balm with SPF in it.
- Don’t let summer vacation deter your family from good dental hygiene. No school often means no routine. Encourage your kids to stay in the habit of brushing their teeth every morning and night and flossing once a day. Consider making a morning and bedtime check list and taping it to the bathroom mirror. Letting your kids pick out a new toothbrush and their own special toothpaste can also help encourage them to stay in the habit of practicing good dental hygiene.
- Traveling doesn’t have to mean you neglect your teeth. If you’re going on a family vacation this summer, don’t let this get in the way of practicing good dental hygiene. Stock up on a good travel toothbrush and toothpaste and don’t forget the dental floss. Even though you’re on vacation, drink plenty of water and limit your sugar intake. It can also be helpful to travel with some sugar free gum to help remove leftover food particles and germs in-between meals.
In addition to these 5 summertime dental care tips and tricks, as always, don’t forget to brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss every day. While the kids are out of school, this is also a great opportunity to take the whole family to the dentist for their regular checkup and cleaning. At Cornerstone Family Dentistry we would love to help you with all of your dental needs, so make an appointment with us today!