Oral Health Tips for Summertime

Long, fun, indulgent and carefree days are what summer is all about.

The warm weather is ideal for backyard barbecues and family gatherings. While it may be tempting to throw caution to the wind during these months, your oral health should never be neglected. Here are several tips to keep those teeth and gums healthy during the summer months.

Eat Healthy

Having more downtime at home over the summer means more snacking. Rather than keeping your pantry stocked with processed foods and sugary treats, take advantage of the summer’s rich harvest by chilling fresh fruits or preparing chopped veggies to have on hand for a healthier alternative to sweets or desserts.

Drink Lots of Water

Don’t forget to drink lots of water and stay hydrated this summer. To keep teeth and gums healthy, stay away from acidic, sugary sodas and juices. Sports drinks are high in both sugar and acidity and can damage enamel. If you need extra flavor, try flavoring water with fruit or mint as a refreshing alternative to unhealthy beverages. Choose water more often and always rinse after sugary drinks and snacks. When enjoying a cold drink, avoid the temptation to chomp on ice chips that can crack or chip your teeth.

Start a Routine and Stick to It

Brushing and flossing are important activities that must be done consistently, regardless of summertime distractions. It’s easy to get in the habit of going to bed late and sleeping in, especially when you’re on vacation or enjoying time off. However, you should keep in mind that the types of foods you enjoy may actually require you to take better care of your teeth than you’re used to.

Foods like sticky barbecue and gourmet popcorn can get trapped between your teeth, requiring some extra attention when brushing and flossing. This might seem like a pain when you’re spending most of your day out and about so consider carrying a travel pack wherever you go that includes your toothbrush, toothpaste and dental floss.

Prevent Dental Emergencies

Summertime activities often include bike riding and playing sports. You are also likely to spend more time at the pool. This increases the likelihood of a dental emergency due to slips, falls and rough contact that can damage your teeth. If you are around a pool, make sure you and those you are with observe common sense rules designed to prevent running on slippery decks or diving into shallow areas.

In the event that someone does chip or break a tooth, it’s important to get to a dentist right away. First clean the area with warm water and apply a cold pack to reduce swelling. Use some gauze to stop the bleeding. The tooth should be submerged in salt-water or milk to keep it moist, until you can get to a dentist.

Get Scheduled

Summer presents an excellent opportunity to take advantage of free-time by scheduling an appointment to see the dentist for your routine check-up and cleaning. Early detection also decreases the chances of a painful dental crisis emerging while on vacation.

Remember that while the summer months can throw you off of your usual routine, there are things you can do to keep your teeth and gums healthy. While the tips above are designed to make this as painless as possible, the most important rule of all is to use common sense. If you can make time to see us at Periodontal Associates and avoid getting carried away with unhealthy foods, you stand a far better chance of maintaining good dental health throughout the year.

To make an appointment, call 214-377-0855 or request an appointment online.