Dental advice for the summer months
With our unexpected heatwave in full swing it is often so hot that all you want to do is enjoy an ice cream, or a cold can of soft drink!
While that sounds fantastic we thought we would put together some tips to help you fully enjoy this beautiful weather while staying safe and looking after you and your family’s oral health this summer.
The last thing you want on your holidays is a cracked tooth! By all means enjoy your food, but beware of hard foods such as pork cracking, hard nuts and hard candies. Please, do not attempt to open a bottle with your teeth!
If you have existing cracked teeth or suspect your teeth may be cracked, please see one of our dental partner stores!
Keeping yourself hydrated during hot weather is very important. With high temperatures, it is easy to become dehydrated and develop a dry mouth which has a much higher risk of tooth decay. This is because without adequate fluid or saliva in our mouths, any sugar/carbohydrate or acid we consume has free rein on our teeth. Combined with our natural plaque and bacteria it is a recipe for disaster. Try to avoid sugary drinks and opt for a bottle of cold water instead. Just make sure you don’t go for flavoured water or add cordial.
By drinking plenty of water regularly each day you are helping to prevent tooth decay and you are also keeping your skin and gum tissues moist and healthy. Trust us, your body and your smile will thank you for it!
Protect your lips
During hot sunshine, your lips are one of the most susceptible to burning compared to other body parts. Constant sun exposure and drying of the lips can put you at risk of skin cancer, so in the dryer and hotter months, we need to protect our lips by using a balm or gloss with a minimum SPF 15. Also don’t forget the rest of your body! Try to find products with high SPF factor which can also provide additional moisture to the skin. Using these products, particularly on your lips can help ward off skin cancers.
Fresh fruit is a popular option during the summer months! However, choosing the right fruit and watching the amount you eat is also important. For example, watermelon is great as it assists to clean the mouth on account of its high water content. On the other hand, citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons and limes are highly acidic and overeating can result in the erosion of the tooth enamel. The best way to enjoy citrus fruits is sparingly, and with plenty of water in-between.
Fresh fruit is seen as a healthy option and many indulge in fruit instead of snacking on alternatives. However, a lot of people are unaware of the hidden danger of fruit with its high sugar content. Fruit contains Fructose (natural fruit sugar), which like glucose is readily converted by the bacteria in plaque to cavity causing acid. Don’t be fooled by the summer mangos and other highly sweet fruits, as they can contain nearly as much sugar as your favourite sweet treats! As always, the first line of defence against decay is to limit snacking and drink plenty of water.
When we go on holidays we all look forward to hitting the pool. However we need to be mindful of the damages to our teeth if spending long periods of time in the water. Swimming in chlorinated pools for more than six hours a week continually expose our teeth to chemically treated water. Pool water contains chemical additives which give water a higher pH than saliva and as a result, salivary proteins break down quickly and form organic deposits on teeth. These hard brown deposits, known as ‘swimmers’ calculus’, appear mostly on front teeth. Thankfully this can usually be removed by professional dental cleaning.
Have a Check Up
Last but not least, while you and the family are on holidays and you have some time off to, why not book in a check-up and clean appointment with one of our partner dentists before heading back to school or work?
The best way to look after your smile this summer is to make sure you are off to the best start. Regular six monthly check-ups are the industry standard as lot can happen in your mouth between visits. These check-ups will help you to identify any issues you may have and keep on top of them
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