Yippee! Summer is just around the corner and many of us are ready for “all things summer”! It’s time to enjoy drive-in movies which will likely include a trip to the concession stand for soda, popcorn, and candy. Perhaps a day at a state fair or local carnival where vendors make it nearly impossible to deny the indulgence of a sticky, sweet candy apple. Who doesn’t like to bring home saltwater taffy for family and friends after vacationing at the beach? Camping isn’t camping without a campfire and marshmallow smores. Fireworks, baseball games, pool days……more soda, popcorn, and candy!!! Summer vacation provides many opportunities for fun activities, but all of this “celebrating” could lead to some unfortunate consequences. This is not the time to take a vacation from good oral health which impacts overall health.
Simple Tips for Summer Time Oral Health:
- Opt for bringing a packed lunch for those vacation day (or evening) trips. Take advantage of the unmatchable taste of fresh-picked veggies and satisfy a sweet tooth with a bowl of delicious, chopped fruit.
- Utilize the Drink Pyramid as a helpful tool for healthy drink choices. Hydration is especially important during the hot summer months.
- Drink more water. It not only quenches thirst but can also help flush away plaque that could lead to bad breath and cavities. Be sure to choose fluoridated water whenever you can.
Hit an Oral Health Homerun!
- Don’t forget the importance of mouth guards when playing summer sports to reduce the risk of sports-related dental injuries.
- Use caution when swimming. Chlorinated pools and hot tubs contain pH levels that can cause enamel erosion on your teeth. Of course, it’s unlikely that you swim with your mouth open (if you do, don’t), but water tends to seep into your mouth occasionally.
- Make sure to wear sunscreen and lip balm with an SPF of 15+ to avoid sunburns.
If you’re planning on going out of town this summer try to schedule vacations around your dental appointment and don’t forget to purchase travel-size products like mouthwash, floss, and toothpaste, as well as travel toothbrushes for the whole family. Toothbrushes should be replaced every three or four months and after an illness. Why not make a habit of replacing old toothbrushes at the beginning of every season? Summer begins on June 20th. Mark it on the calendar as a reminder to start this summer with a FRESH new toothbrush!