Summer can be hard on your smile. First, it’s easier to neglect oral hygiene in the summertime because of busy schedules and fun vacations. Chances are, you’re also indulging in more sugary treats and foods. This can cause cavities and tooth decay to rapidly develop, leaving you with a toothache by the end of summer.
Fortunately, this is entirely preventable. Follow these nine oral health tips to revive (and maintain) your perfect smile.
1. Keep up with your oral hygiene routine
Summer is often when we let our routines and schedules slip. The kids are out of school, warm weather activities are in full swing, and vacations abound. However, just because you’re going on holiday does not mean you can take a break from your dental hygiene regime.
It is vital that you continue to take care of your teeth during the summer. In fact, this is one of those times of the year when it is especially important to maintain good dental habits. Why? When the hot weather begins, many people begin consuming more sugary foods and drinks. This is the season of ice cream and cool summer cocktails, after all!
All that sugar is hard on your oral health. Consequently, it is extremely important that you continue brushing twice a day and flossing daily. Remember to use a soft-bristled toothbrush so you don’t damage the protective enamel that coats your teeth. You should also use toothpaste with fluoride for extra protection.
2. Stay hydrated by drinking water
It should come as no surprise that you need to drink lots of water during hot weather. However, staying hydrated isn’t just essential for your overall health; it’s also crucial for your mouth.
Staying hydrated in summer can be a daunting task. When you get dehydrated, your mouth cannot produce as much saliva. This is a big problem. Saliva is responsible for washing away food particles and bacteria. Without it, plaque begins to accumulate around your teeth, eventually leading to cavities and tooth decay.
Furthermore, it’s crucial that you hydrate with water and not sugary beverages, fizzy drinks, or fruit juices. These drinks are high in acid and sugar, which can also cause tooth decay and dental erosion.
3. Do not chew on ice—no matter how hot it gets!
Chewing on ice may seem like the perfect way to hydrate and cool off on a hot summer day, but it can cause serious damage to your teeth. Every time you bite down on the ice, you run the risk of chipping, cracking, or shattering a tooth. If a tooth cracks below the gum line, it has to be removed.
It’s just not worth it. You do not want to ruin your summer holiday with emergency dental surgery. When you need to hydrate, drink a glass of cool water instead. If you’re still too hot, jump in a pool!
4. Eat healthy foods
We understand the temptations of summer with its endless parade of barbecue delicacies, ice cream, colourful drinks, and sugary treats. Although enjoying the occasional indulgence is part of living a balanced life, try not to overdo it.
Aim to include as many healthy foods in your diet as possible. Eating a variety of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains is good for your oral and overall health.
Conversely, foods and beverages that are high in sugar can promote the development of plaque, cavities, and tooth decay.
5. Only use your teeth for the jobs they are designed for
Your teeth are not designed to open packages or bottles. Neither are they supposed to help you carry things when you need an extra hand! When you start finding creative uses for your pearly whites, an accident is just around the corner.
It’s only a matter of time before you damage a tooth. Instead of breaking or cracking a tooth, just take an extra trip or find a pair of scissors.
6. Protect your lips
Burned, cracked, and bleeding lips are not doing your smile any favours. Just like your skin, your lips are susceptible to damage from the sun. For this reason, it’s crucial to protect them with SPF lip balm. Staying hydrated will also help your lips combat the hot weather.
Lips do not have the same melatonin levels as the rest of your skin. This means that your lips are actually more vulnerable to the sun’s damaging UV radiation.
7. Get some sun
It’s true that too much sun can burn your skin and lips, causing painful burns and skin issues. However, the right amount of sun is essential for your oral and overall health.
Sunshine stimulates vitamin D production, which contributes to a robust immune system. Individuals with a strong immune system are less vulnerable to serious health issues like gum disease.
8. Add mouthwash to your travel dental kit
Hopefully, you know to brush your teeth twice a day and floss once per day (ideally before brushing). Mouthwash, however, is a fantastic addition to your dental hygiene routine. It cleans your gums, washes away food debris, and kills bacteria.
The next time you leave for vacation, pick up a travel-sized mouthwash for your travel dental kit. This is a great way to maintain your oral health while away. A quick rinse after a meal, snack, or beverage helps wash away residue and prevents the development of cavities.
9. Squeeze in a dental checkup before your vacation
No one wants to have a dental emergency while on vacation. That’s why it’s best to squeeze in an appointment before you depart, especially if you’re overdue for your biannual checkup.
Prevention is your best defence for your oral health. Catching issues early is key for effective treatment and can prevent more invasive procedures. You can still develop cavities, chip a tooth, and cause damage to your teeth even if you brush twice a day. It is, thus, absolutely essential that you visit your dentist regularly. There’s no better time than before going away to a faraway location where your favourite dentist can no longer help you.
Dental Hygiene Services in Mississauga
Bristol Dental Clinic provides a wide range of high-quality dental hygiene services to patients in Mississauga. We use the latest technology to offer comprehensive dental care. Plus, our highly trained and experienced Mississauga dentists work with you to create a treatment plan that addresses your unique oral needs.