Your teeth play an important role in your life. That’s why it’s important to protect them—but this doesn’t just mean brushing and flossing on a daily basis. While staying on top of basic dental hygiene is crucial, there’s a lot more you can do to ensure your teeth stay strong and healthy. Taking preventative measures now is key to avoiding unnecessary treatments later.
It’s also worth noting that your approach to personal dental care may vary from one season to another. For instance, with summer on its way, oral surgeons and dentists want their patients to keep certain essential tips in mind. Of course, an oral surgeon can help if you lose or damage a tooth, but his or her main goal is to ensure you avoid such consequences altogether.
These points will help. Remember them, and you’ll be much more likely to enjoy the season.
For many people, summer means lots of hiking, biking, swimming, baseball, and other sports—it’s the best time of the year to go outside, enjoy the sun, and get moving.
If this describes you, have fun playing your favorite sport, but keep in mind that it’s important to protect your teeth. This may involve wearing a mouthguard, especially if you play contact sports, but also if you’re going mountain biking or skateboarding. You can coordinate with a dental professional to get a mouthguard designed specifically for the size and shape of your mouth, or purchase a generic one at your local sporting goods store. Either way, this is an important piece of gear you shouldn’t forget when playing sports this summer.
Staying hydrated during the warmer months is a general health tip everyone should remember. In the heat of the summer, it’s easy to become dehydrated if you’re not drinking water regularly. Consider purchasing a refillable water bottle you can keep with you at all times. Having it on hand will boost your motivation to drink enough water throughout the day.
This isn’t merely important for your general wellness. Proper hydration also offers major dental and oral health benefits. When you drink water, you rinse away the bacteria in your mouth that could otherwise eat away at your teeth and gums. Drinking enough water to satisfy your thirst can also help you resist the temptation to overindulge in sugary drinks, which can cause tooth decay. On top of that, rinsing away oral bacteria promotes fresh breath. These are all very good reasons to make hydration a priority during the summer.
Be Ready for Dental Emergencies
It’s important to protect your teeth during the summer months, or any time of year. That said, accidents can happen.
For example, maybe you’re spending time by the pool when you slip on a wet surface. This could result in a damaged or lost tooth. Again, although a dental implant can effectively replace a missing tooth, you may be able to save it if you act fast. Make sure you know what steps to take if this happens.
Additionally, be ready to apply warm and cold packs to dental injuries. This reduces swelling, which can reduce pain. When you’re participating in sports and outdoor activities that can cause emergencies, make sure you have water on hand to rinse out your mouth if you sustain a dental injury.
Don’t Chew on Ice
This may sound like a minor point, but it’s actually important to remember.
Summer is a time for cold drinks, ice pops, and in some cases, chewing on ice. This is a common habit people often don’t realize they’re doing. The impulse to savor the last bit of refreshment from a cold beverage leads many people to chew on the leftover ice when they’re done with their drink.
However, over time, chewing on ice can actually damage your teeth. If you notice your children developing this habit this summer, you should also tell them to stop.
Keep Your Toothbrush Dry
Drying out your toothbrush before using it again is always necessary. In the summer, it’s even more important to stay on top of this basic oral care task. Humidity in the air means that your toothbrush might take longer to completely dry out.
Like chewing on ice, this tip might sound insignificant, but it’s more important than it seems. When your toothbrush is wet, bacteria are more likely to thrive in its bristles. That means you’re inserting more bacteria directly into your mouth when you brush with a wet toothbrush. Avoid this by storing yours in a dry place, on a stand where it’s exposed to the air. If you can run a dehumidifier in the room where you keep your toothbrush, even better.
As always, you should coordinate with your dentist and oral surgeon to ensure optimum oral health. After all, summer is supposed to be a fun time of year. Don’t let oral health problems ruin yours.