Don’t Forget Dental Hygiene This Summer
As summer approaches, you are probably planning many different activities including vacations and spending time with friends and family. When on vacation, it’s tempting to get away from the routines and habits you usually have while at home. Although this isn’t always a bad thing, you want to make sure you are keeping up with your dental hygiene routines during the summer. No matter where you are or what you’re doing, make sure to follow these tips to keep your mouth and teeth healthy all summer long.
Schedule a Visit with the Dentist
Before heading back to work or school after a summer of activities and fun, make sure you schedule an appointment with your dentist. Everyone in the family should see the dentist once the summer ends. Appointments at the beginning of fall are often very busy, so you want to make sure you get your back-to-school visits done at the end of summer, so you don’t have to wait until the end of fall to get seen by the dentist.
Stay Away from Ice
As the temperatures rise in Hawaii, it can be tempting to chew and suck on ice to cool down. This is very bad for your teeth though. Chewing on hard things like ice can cause your teeth to chip and crack. It’s okay to drink things with ice in them but try not to chew the ice as you are drinking. If you feel like you might be tempted to chew on ice, try not to drink things with ice at all.
Drinking cool drinks is a better way to cool down compared to chewing on a big cup of ice. Chewing on the ice regularly can also gradually decrease the strength of your teeth making them more suspectable to chipping and breaking.
Keep Your Routine
Make sure every time you travel somewhere that you bring along your toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, and mouthwash. Double and triple-check your baggage before setting off to ensure you have these most important items. Make sure you either get a special travel toothbrush with a cover or buy a cover for your regular toothbrush. This keeps it from being in contact with other items in your toiletry bag where it can become contaminated and get germs on it. Your toothbrush should also always be dry so that it doesn’t start growing harmful bacteria.
Drinking enough water has endless health benefits. In the summertime, it’s very easy to become dehydrated because of the sun. Make sure you are drinking water all day long, not just when you feel thirsty.
When your mouth is dry, it can grow plaque and bacteria much quicker compared to if your mouth is wet and moist. When you are hydrated, you also have more saliva in the mouth making it easier for your mouth to wash away bacteria. So, staying hydrated with water, not other drinks, is one of the best things you can do for your oral health during the summertime.
Try To Limit Sugar
Summer is a time of relaxing and having fun with our loved ones. Sometimes we tend to overconsume sugar and other sweet beverages during this time because we are on vacation. Eating sugar and eating sugary drinks is fine sometimes when we are celebrating and having fun, but it should not become a daily habit.
Drinking and eating sugar can cause our teeth to decay faster and it helps plaque to build up on the teeth. Try to limit your intake of soda and alcohol. If you do want to consume sugar, you need to make extra sure that you're brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing in the evening or after meals. Moderation is best when it comes to consuming sugar. You don’t have to deprive yourself, just consume everything in moderation and don’t allow overconsumption of sugar to become a habit.
Don’t Open Drinks with Your Teeth
Out on the boat or at the beach and forgot a drink opener? You might be tempted to open soda and beer bottles with your teeth. This is a bad habit to start and can easily break and chip your teeth. It can also break off crowns you might have gotten placed onto your teeth before. You might have used your teeth in the past without any issues, but you never know when something might go wrong. Before leaving the house, double-check that you remembered your bottle opener, so you don’t have to worry about using the teeth.
Use a Mouthguard While Playing Sports
If you plan to play sports or your children plan to play sports during the summer, make sure they wear a mouthguard. Getting teeth knocked out is one of the most painful experiences someone can have. When you wear a mouthguard, you can protect your teeth during high-contact sports. The best place to buy a mouthguard is at the dentist's office because they fit much better than the ones you might buy over the counter. When you get a mouthpiece made specially for your mouth, it will fit better and protect you from injuries easier.
Always Use a Straw
Bring along either plastic or reusable straws while you are traveling so that you can use them for drinking soda and carbonated drinks. They will limit the amount of sugar that comes in contact with your teeth, reducing your chances of possibly getting cavities and tooth decay. If you are worried about teeth whitening, you should also drink colored drinks like wine and coffee with a straw.
As you prepare for the summer, give our Kahului dentist a call today for your checkup needs and for anything else you might need. We can help you keep your oral hygiene in check by doing x-rays and dental cleanings. We also offer cosmetic dentistry for those that want other kinds of services. Give us a call today at 808-707-7445.