As we celebrate the official arrival of summer, the Kentucky Oral Health Coalition offers tips for practicing good oral health throughout the lazy days of summer.
Beautiful weather signals the arrival of plentiful summer sports. Summer oral health safety plays an important role in the enjoyment of these activities. About a quarter of all pediatric dental injuries can be attributed to sports accidents, according to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.
Sports Safety Tips
- Gain knowledge on how to avoid dental injuries.
- Know the oral health related effects of chlorinated pools.
- Learn more about dental first aid and how to be prepared for dental emergencies.
- Wear an athletic mouth guard when taking part in sports involving impact and speed.
Summer is also a time for traditional treats! Energy, sports drinks, citrus juices, and acidic beverages like lemonade weaken tooth enamel, which can lead to cavities and tooth loss.
Mouth Friendly Advice
- Limit intake of artificially flavored drinks that include citric and phosphoric acid (i.e. all soda including diet and sugar-free soda).
- Rinse your mouth with plain water and wait an hour or so before brushing, since brushing shortly after exposure to acids can worsen the damage.
- Take advantage of the unmatchable taste of fresh-picked veggies.
- Satisfy a sweet tooth with a bowl of delicious, chopped fruit.
Staying hydrated is always important but during the sweltering days of summer, it could be easy to become dehydrated quickly which may result in dry mouth. Dry Mouth is a condition in which the salivary glands in your mouth don’t make enough saliva to keep your mouth wet. A dry mouth could lead to enamel damage and cause tooth decay. It is important to drink plenty of water, and choose fluoridated tap water when possible.
Chewing sugarless gum can also help stimulate saliva flow. When you chew sugar-free gum your mouth produces more saliva and the symptoms of dry mouth and bad breath may be reduced. Go ahead and treat yourself and your family to that guiltless pleasure.
Dry mouth may be a sign of other medical conditions, if dry mouth persists, make an appointment with an oral health professional or doctor.
Summer is here! Get out there and play ball, or whatever summer activity you enjoy. Use summer oral health safety as your guide to safe summer fun!
Image provided by Chris Chow Unsplash