No matter the season, you should always take care of your smile. Summertime brings extra risks for your teeth, and it will be here before we know it! Most people are more active and drinking or eating foods that are seasonally popular. Ask yourself these questions to see if you're prepared to face the oral health care challenges of summer. Is chewing ice bad for you?
Yes! Chewing ice wreaks havoc on your tooth enamel and dental work. Although it's tempting to chew ice to cool off and enjoy the crunch, it can cause your teeth to crack or break. You may not feel or see the damage at first, but you'll feel the pain in your mouth and pocketbook later. Excessive craving to chew ice could be a symptom of anemia.
Are mouthguards only for contact sports?
No! Mouthguards are a good idea for any sport that could potentially cause harm to your teeth, not just team sports or those where contact is part of the game. With much more time to play outside, consider using a mouthguard for any sport with high impact risk - even when playing solo sports like gymnastics and tennis.
Is lemonade a healthy refreshment for summer?
No! Although you may burn off the calories if you're active, lemonade has tons of sugar and acidity, which lead to decay of enamel. Not only can sugar help form cavities but it can leach minerals from your body, weakening bones and teeth. Water and unsweetened iced tea are healthier alternatives.
Are sports drinks better for your teeth than soft drinks?
No! Although sport drinks help prevent dehydration by replenishing your body with minerals, they're often loaded with sugar as a top ingredient. If you must drink a sport drink, check the label for a brand that is low on sugar. Water is also an option instead!
Should I visit the dentist before leaving for vacation?
Yes! If you are planning to visit a developing country where access to good dental care may be an issue, be sure to get a cleaning beforehand. If a tooth breaks while abroad, find the fragment and call your dentist for instructions.
Keeping these oral health care tips in mind can make your summer more enjoyable. Don't forget that summer is a perfect time to schedule your child's dental work since it won't interfere with school!