Summer is officially here. The air is fresher, the days are longer, and the sun shines brighter. Many people are sure to look forward to this season filled with fun, exciting activities-from leaping off a rope swing, taking a road trip, going to an amusement park, or simply trying new summer treats.
You have all the time in the world to enjoy many things this sunny season. However, this does not mean you should fall off your dental hygiene. While you may enjoy being active and enjoying sweets and refreshing summer beverages, it is vital to take precautions to avoid a serious dental problem and protect your bright smile. After all, the last thing you want is to end summer with cavities and damaged dental health.
Below are some of the summer activities that may harm your oral health and how you can avoid being carefree when it comes to your summer dental care.
Summer Activities That May Harm Your Smile
Whether you plan to spend the rest of this warm season relaxing by the pool or enjoying barbecues with family members, it is essential to keep your dental health in mind amid the summer fun. Here are some of the summer activities that can damage your smile:
1. Too Much Time in The Pool
As the temperature rises, a trip to the pool is just what you need. Swimming is also an excellent form of exercise and can be a natural stress relief. However, chlorine can indirectly cause tooth decay and damage. Poor pH balance in the chlorine water can cause enamel to wear.
One way to protect your teeth without sacrificing summer fun is by ensuring that your pool pH balance is between 7.8 and 7.2 before jumping in.
2. Consuming Sugary Food and Beverages
While it can be tempting to reach out for a cold glass of soda or juice when the climate is blazing hot, these sugary drinks can cause tooth decay. Soda and other fruit juice can cause acid formation that damages the enamel, leading to tooth discoloration and cavities. Instead of drinking sugary drinks, hydrate yourself with water, especially if it is not a special occasion.
3. Frequent Snacking
Popsicles at the pool, popcorn at the movies, and candy while on road trips all complete and make great summer memories. However, frequent snacking can increase the risk of plaque buildup when particles stick to your teeth for hours. To protect your teeth, limit your amount of snacking, and remember to brush and floss your teeth regularly.
4. Summer Sports
Did you know that 5 million teeth are lost yearly due to sports-related summer activities? Protect your teeth against dental injuries, no matter what sport you enjoy, by wearing a mouthguard.
Many standard mouthguards can be purchased at your local store, but they do not provide the same protection as a custom mouthguard. Your dentist can fit you the best mouthguard to protect your smile. You can have the freedom to do what you want without worrying about your teeth.
Summer Dental Hygiene Tips
Your dental health is essential throughout the year, but the excitement of summer can make it easy to neglect your oral health. Here are six ways to keep your teeth healthy and fresh this summer:
1. Limit Sugary Food and Beverages
You don’t have to limit your chilled beverages to lemonade, soda, sports drinks, and soda. These beverages all contain high levels of sugar, which can cause enamel erosion and tooth decay.
Make sure to drink plenty to keep hydrated this warm season. You can also infuse plain water with fresh fruits to add instant flavor.
2. Pack Healthy Snacks While Travelling
Finding healthy food options when traveling or going on a road trip can be tricky. Many healthy snack options can be packed with you that do not require much preparation. You can bring small bags of baby carrots, string cheese, trail mix, or celery sticks instead of always opting for bad food for your teeth.
3. Look Out for Low-Sugar Substitutes
Many low-sugar versions of summer treats are available in your local market or convenience store. Popsicles, juices, funnel cakes, ice creams, and other tasty treats with low sugar levels have a fraction of what you would find in the originals. They also taste great!
4. Take Precautions During Activities
If you don’t take the necessary precautions, dental injuries can occur in contact sports such as swimming, diving, and softball. Swimmers who swim in chemically treated water for more than six hours per week are at greater risk of developing dark stains.
Diving can also cause jaw pain and tooth problems because of the frequent changes in the air pressure. Make sure to have a mouthguard while playing contact sports to protect their teeth.
5. Rinse with Water
It is easy to accidentally have bad dental hygiene when traveling across the country or visiting summer fairs and festivals. If regular toothbrushes are not possible, rinse your mouth frequently with water. Drinking water helps remove food particles and bacteria from the mouth and teeth.
Dangerous Summer Sports for Your Teeth
Summer is a great time to enjoy the outdoors. However, some popular sports and activities for summer, such as softball and swimming, can put your oral health at risk. While sports are great for making friends and staying in shape, it is essential to prevent injuries, protect your dental health from damage, and preserve your sunny smile.
Here are some sports and summer activities that can be dangerous for your teeth:
Regular swimmers could be at high risk of developing yellowish-brown or dark brown stains as they are constantly exposed to chemically treated water. Chemical additives, such as chlorine, give pool water a pH higher than salivary liquid. This pH level causes salivary proteins to break down quickly and organic deposits to form on the teeth. These brown, hard deposits are known as swimmer’s calculus and often appear on the front teeth.
2. Scuba Diving
Scuba diving can cause jaw joint pain, gum tissue problems, or “tooth squeeze,” which is pain at the center of the teeth. These issues can be symptoms of “diver’s mouth syndrome,” a condition caused by air pressure changes during scuba diving and divers biting on their scuba regulators.
Pressure changes when diving can cause large cavities, periodontal abscess, gum disease, or incomplete root canal treatment. These problems can be avoided by visiting your dentist before scuba diving. You can also ask your dentist for advice on fitting an air regulator’s mouthpiece to protect your teeth and gums.
3. Skateboarding, Snowboarding, and Skiing
You can be prone to falling and head injuries when skiing, snowboarding, and skateboarding. Head injuries can knock out or damage a tooth, so make sure you have the proper protective gear when engaging in these sports.
4. Contact Sports
Contact is the key component of boxing, wrestling, football, and martial arts. It is part of the deal to get hit in the face and get your teeth knocked off or destroyed. You will be required to use a mouthguard at sporting events, but don’t forget one while you practice!
5. Hockey, Baseball, and Lacrosse
Although these may seem oddly grouped activities for summer, they all involve a stick. As these sports involve high-speed throwing or hitting of a lacrosse ball, baseball, or puck, a tooth can be damaged or removed if struck. Protective gear and a mouthguard can help you avoid the pain of replacing a lost tooth.
Tooth injuries are very common in basketball. Although it is not considered a contact sports like boxing or boxing, the players are often very close. They can sometimes accidentally elbow each other, increasing the risk of damaging their teeth.
How to Protect Your Teeth This Summer
Mouthguards can help ensure your smile is protected in the event of a sudden collision. If you are naturally active, it can be a good idea to get a mouthguard custom-made by a dentist before participating in any sporting event. With this protective tool, being proactive this summer is much more convenient.
There are many types of mouthguards for your specific sports or activities for summer. Here are some of them:
1. Stock Mouthguard
The most common option for a mouthguard is an item available “off-the-shelf” at sporting goods or drug stores. Since the fit adjustment is restricted, this mouthguard may not provide the most protection.
Standard mouthguards cannot also be used as a facial protector. But it is always better to have proper protection than nothing.
2. Mouth-Shaped Protector
Available as a shell-liner or “boil and bite” product at sporting goods shops. The protector’s lining material molds around the teeth when placed in the mouth to provide complete protection.
3. Custom Mouth Protector
A custom mouthguard designed by your dentist is always the best option. Although this can be costly, a custom-made mouthguard will provide the best protection, fit, and comfort.
Keep Your Smile Bright This Summer
Summer is meant for fun summer activities in the sun and not hours spent with your dentist. Make the most of your summer memories by enjoying all this season offers while preventing dental trauma and protecting your smile.
Mouthguards can be a great way to keep your pearly white teeth as healthy as they are beautiful throughout the summer. Century Dental provides and fits industry-grade mouthguards that provide enhanced protection and comfort. For more inquiries regarding our dental health care services and how you can protect your smile even when active, contact our dentists near Treasure Island, FL.