Protect Your Smile: Summer Dental Tips

Summer is finally here in all its sunny, warm glory! While the season brings plenty of opportunities for fun like trips to the beach, ballgames, camping, and backyard barbecues, it can also pose some unique risks for your dental health if you're not careful. At Great Lakes Dental, we want to make sure your teeth stay healthy and strong all summer long. Follow these tips to protect your smile over the next few months.

Stay Hydrated 

With hotter temperatures and more time spent outdoors, it's easy to get dehydrated during the summer. Drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep your body hydrated and produce enough saliva. Saliva helps neutralize acids from foods and beverages and washes away food particles and bacteria. If your mouth is dry, you're more prone to problems like tooth decay and gum disease.

Watch Your Beverage Intake 

While you're trying to stay hydrated, be mindful of what you're drinking. Sugary beverages like soda, lemonade, sweetened iced teas and juices can coat your teeth with enamel-eroding acids and sugars that feed cavity-causing bacteria. When possible, opt for water or unsweetened drinks like seltzer or unsweetened iced tea. If you do indulge in sugary beverages, rinse your mouth with water afterwards. Using a straw can also help keep the sugary liquid away from your teeth.

Protect Your Teeth from Snack Attacks 

Summer schedules often mean more snacking for both kids and adults. While you’re participating in outdoor activities, running errands, or just lounging by the pool, it's easy to mindlessly munch all day long. Fight the urge to snack constantly to reduce your teeth's exposure to acids and sugars. If you do snack, go for tooth-friendly options like cheese, nuts, crisp veggies, or yogurt. Avoid sticky snacks and hard foods that could crack teeth.

Don't Let Fitness Routines Interrupt Oral Hygiene 

With busier summer schedules, it can be tempting to rush through or skip your oral hygiene routines. But don't let a packed calendar become an excuse for poor dental habits! Always make time to brush twice a day for two minutes each time and floss once per day to keep plaque and tartar at bay. Stock up on travel toothbrushes, toothpaste, and floss to keep in your bag, car, or desk so you'll never have an excuse to slack off.

Get a Dental Check-Up 

If it's been longer than six months since your last dental cleaning and exam, be sure to schedule an appointment before summer gets too crazy. A professional cleaning will remove built-up plaque and tartar and give us a chance to check for any potential issues before they turn into bigger problems. Taking this proactive approach means you're less likely to suffer a preventable dental emergency that sidelines your summer fun.

The summer season is filled with great times spent with family and friends. Don't let pain or embarrassment from dental problems put a damper on your warm weather enjoyment. Follow these tips to keep your smile healthy all summer long. Call Great Lakes Dental today to schedule your next preventive care appointment!