A year without summer is like a cake without sugar or a week without Saturdays. From June to September, Canadians happily celebrate this bikini season by lounging on the beach and going outdoors. With ice creams, pool visits, and endless midnight snacking, dental health care can be overlooked amidst the fun. Remember: sunburn is seasonal, but tooth decay is permanent.
Cold sugary treats may be the staple of the hottest days of the year, but remember that sugar is one of the major causes of tooth decay. The average Canadian consumes about 40 kg of sugar every year. This summer, while you indulge in cold desserts, remember these healthy teeth tips to ensure a perfect megawatt smile all year-long.
1.Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
When it comes to summer beverages, water is always the best choice. PH-neutral and filled with minerals, water is the safest way to hydrate yourself. Water also prevents plaque build-up, so you can keep your teeth and gums healthy. Fluoridated water from your tap greatly helps in strengthening the enamel coat of your teeth. Since Canada ensures tap water safety, there is no need to worry about fluoride levels.
2.Don’t eat too much ice cream
Ice cream is tasty no matter the season, but having one on the beach on a summer day brings on an entirely different level of satisfaction — like heaven for the mouth! However, too much can be harmful. Ice cream contains plenty of sugar, which can lead to tooth problems. In addition, it affects your taste buds, suppressing its sugary flavour so you may end up eating more just to satisfy your sweet tooth.
3.Cut down on sugar
Cookies and candy are especially enticing for children. During summer, parents can be complacent and let their kids enjoy these treats with gusto. If eaten in moderation, they will not do any harm to your teeth. However, with everyday consumption, cavities are inevitable. To prevent that, consider alternative recipes and food for healthy teeth. Also, instead of soda, consider drinking fruit juices (with less sugar) and tea filled with nutrients. You can drink twice the amount without feeling guilty.
4.Athletes, Boxers, and Children?
Summer is a time for fun, games, and outdoor escapades — whether on the beach or in your own garden. When participating in sports or any physical activity, kids and adolescents are prone to accidents that can lead to dental injury. Wearing mouthguards, or sports guards, during high-intensity games like beach volleyball or water polo will prevent tooth fractures and breaks. Mouthguards can also protect your teeth from sand, dust, plaque, and dirt-accumulation, especially when playing outdoor sports. It is not just for athletes anymore, mouth guards are just as important as bike helmets.
5.Don’t chew on ice
With temperatures reaching up to 35°C, the sweltering heat can have you craving for icy treats. While some people may chew on ice cubes, biting on these is harmful to your teeth. When done frequently, ice biting can damage nerves and cause your teeth to break due to fluctuating temperatures. So, do not bite the ice, put it in your drink instead or just cool off in the pool or tub.
6.Keep your mouth closed while in the pool
Pool shenanigans are always fun, no matter what age you are. From playing tag, going down the slide, and doing cannonballs, it is the place for mischief. To keep it clean, pools use chlorine as an antiseptic. Drinking chlorine from the pool water is generally safe for your tummy. However, its slightly acidic property can cause your teeth to brown and stain. It may corrode your enamel and cause tooth decay. So, while in the pool, try to keep your mouth closed.
7.Moisturize your lips
Protecting your skin during this season is integral to avoid sunburn, or worse, skin cancer. However, there is one part of the skin that is often overlooked — your lips.
Prone to drying up during low humidity and high temperatures, your lips may end up cracked or bleeding. To prevent painful smiles, it is best to have a lip balm in your pocket to keep your lips always camera-ready.
8.Supplement your teeth with vitamins
With a proper diet and consistent dental care routine, you can maintain your smile. Vitamins A, C, E, and Calcium can strengthen your gums and enamel coating. These healthy teeth vitamins and supplements can be bought from any local pharmacy.
9.Don’t use your teeth as tools
Ripping open a bottle or bag of chips with your teeth is common practice. However, being the norm does not mean it’s a good thing. Your teeth are not suitable for such heavy activities. Your teeth may be hard, but they are not indestructible. In fact, they are susceptible to wear and tear — even from daily chewing. Insisting on using them as tools can cause misalignment, accidental tooth fracture, and tissue (gum or lip) damage.
Brushing your teeth twice a day can only do so much. Unfortunately, they can’t do much when it comes to hard-to-reach teeth and gum corners. By flossing after a meal, you can make sure that there is no tartar and plaque build-up. This simple practice can make the difference between healthy teeth vs. unhealthy teeth.
11.Use eco-friendly straw options
Some drinks are too acidic, carbonated, or too cold, for your teeth to handly. These can cause tooth sensitivity and damage when directly consumed. Using straws can protect your oral health. However, because plastic straws are bad for the environment, use alternatives like metal, bamboo, and paper varieties instead. When going out this summer, be sure to bring along a personal straw.
Have fun this summer — but don’t forget to take care of your dental health!
If you need advice or dental care services in Etobicoke, turn to Dr. Mark Rhody Dentistry. We can address your dental concerns in a caring and comfortable environment. We also offer teeth whitening so you can show off your lovely pearly whites this season. Call us now at (416) 231-4281 and book an appointment.