With summer around the corner, many of us are making plans and looking forward to enjoying all the joys that summer brings! But many people wonder, can I enjoy summertime social events and activities while still protecting my teeth? Protecting and maintaining your oral health is essential all year round. Here are some tips about how to keep your smile beautiful and healthy while still enjoying the foods, drinks, activities, and events that accompany the summer months.
During the summer in South-Western Ontario, some days the sun isn’t only shining, It’s burning hot! If you’re lucky enough to have access to a swimming pool, cooling off on those hot days can be easy, fun, and fast! When swimming in a chlorinated pool, however, it is important to limit how much water makes its way into your mouth. The high levels of chlorine in the water can cause the erosion of enamel. Studies have shown that individuals who swim regularly may have increased tooth sensitivity, enamel loss and dark stains on the teeth may develop. Another study looked at a large number of competitive and recreational swimmers. The results of the study revealed that 26% of the study participants experienced dental erosion. So, when you’re swimming this summer in a chlorinated pool, remember to keep your mouth closed and limit how much water gets into your mouth.
One popular way to stay cool and comfortable during the hot summer months is by consuming cold drinks such as cocktails, soda and pop, juice and lemonade, and sugary sports drinks. While these drinks are delicious and refreshing, the combination of acid and soda can be very harmful to your teeth. Water is always the best choice when it comes to staying hydrated and protecting your teeth, so remember to enjoy the other beverages in moderation. If you do choose to enjoy drinks other than milk and water, try to consume them alongside a meal and swish your mouth with water afterward. This will rinse away any harmful sugars and acids that may be left behind.
Summertime is also a time when many different kinds of beautiful fruits are in season. From berries to peaches, these gorgeous fruits are chock full of vitamin C and other goodness. These fruits are also however full of acids that can lead to the erosion of tooth enamel. If the damage from these acids is severe enough, it can result in increased tooth sensitivity and staining. It is also important to be mindful of other summer foods and treats such as popsicles and ice cream, as the processed ingredients and heavy sugar content can increase the risk of cavities forming.
While we’re not suggesting that you should avoid the foods that are popular and in season during the summer months, it is important to practice moderation. Ideally, you should brush your teeth after consuming sugary foods and drinks, but if that isn’t possible, rinsing your mouth with water afterward can help.
Sports & Activities
The warm months of summer also create the perfect atmosphere for getting outside and engaging in various sports and activities. As fun as these games and sports may be, they can also pose a danger to your teeth! If you are participating in a sport, game, or activity that could result in contact or trauma to your mouth, wearing a properly fitted mouthguard is a good idea. Mouthguards are relatively inexpensive, especially when compared to the potential cost of repairing lost or damaged teeth. Your dentist can fit you with a custom mouth guard quite simply and easily with a visit to their office.
The best advice for cooling down on a sizzling summer day? Grab a cold one — a cold glass of water, that is. And remember, enjoying your summer doesn’t mean avoiding all the treats and fun that summer brings. Practicing moderation and a little common sense means you can enjoy each and every day of the summer while still protecting the health and appearance of your smile. At Stonegate Dental we are wishing every one of our clients a safe and happy summer. If you want to learn more about protecting your oral health or how our dentists can help you achieve the smile of your dreams contact our Guelph Dentist’s office today!