Summer means more time for recreation, as well as extra hydration and probably some sweet treats. Unfortunately, some of these activities can harm your dental health.
Use these tips to protect your smile while still enjoying all the pleasures of summer:
Ice cream and popsicles are delicious, but they can cause pain if your teeth are sensitive to the cold. This can happen for a variety of reasons, including a cavity that you don’t yet know you have, and exposed tooth roots.
Tip: Avoid whitening toothpastes and instead try one made for people who have sensitive teeth. Also avoid using a hard-bristled toothbrush, and take care not to brush too hard. It can also help to avoid foods that can crack your teeth and also acidic foods or beverages, which can make your teeth more sensitive.
Finally, if you’ve never been treated for this issue, or if it’s gotten worse, come in for an appointment. We can determine the cause of your sensitivity and treat the problem while easing your discomfort.
As the weather gets hot, we tend to drink more. From Tennessee sweet tea to sports drinks, sodas, and lemonade, we’re exposing our teeth to a lot of sugar that cavity-causing bacteria can feed on.
Tip: Try not to sip constantly throughout the day. Instead, have a drink and then rinse your mouth with water.
Many sports and other activities we enjoy over the summer can cause injuries to our teeth, mouth, and gums. Even in sports traditionally thought of as non-contact, the risk of injury exists.
- Baseball: You might get hit in the mouth by a pitch or fly ball.
- Biking or skateboarding: A fall can knock a tooth out or cause other dental damage.
- Flag football: You could fall, be hit in the mouth by an errant pass or by another player.
Tip: Mouth guards, either the “boil and bite” types available in sports goods stores or custom-made, can help protect your mouth against sports-related blows.
- Trampolining: Bouncing on a trampoline can lead to injuries if your kids fall off or hit the sides. They might also get hit in the mouth by a knee or other body part, especially if they’re on the trampoline with other children.
Tip: Limit the number of people on the trampoline at one time, and install netting around the structure. Youth sports injuries often result in tooth damage in the least expected places, so a mouth guard can help here as well.
- Swimming: Swimming in a pool that has improper pH levels can damage your tooth enamel, especially over time. In fact, one survey found that 39 percent of competitive swimmers had dental enamel erosion.
Tip: Check the pool’s pH with test strips. Optimal levels are between 7.2 and 7.8. Be particularly cautious if you’re near a pool and your nose burns from smelling the water. This can be a sign that the pH is too low.
My Family Dentistry can help you protect your smile this summer. Contact us if you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment.