Dentists are always happy to share advice on good oral care, and summer is no exception. While summer is a time for fun and sun, we need to remember proper oral care to avoid problems in the fall. Below are a few handy tips from our state neighbors at the Georgia Dental Association. For patient resources in North Carolina, visit NC Dental Society: For The Public.
Do not chew on ice
If you are tempted to chew on ice during the hot summer months, you may want to think twice. Chewing on ice can leave your teeth vulnerable to a dental emergency. It can also damage enamel, the hard surface of your tooth. Place ice cubes in your drink to cool off instead.
Drink water instead of juices and soft drinks
When you eat sugary foods or sip sugary drinks for long periods of time, plaque bacteria use that sugar to produce acids. The acids attack your tooth enamel. Most carbonated soft drinks, including diet soda, are acidic and therefore, bad for your teeth. Caffeinated beverages can also dry out your mouth. If you do consume soft drinks, remember to also drink a cup of water.
Continue your healthy oral care routines
Does your vacation schedule have you eating out more frequently or staying up late? Remember to maintain your healthy oral care routines. Always brush at least twice per day with fluoride toothpaste and floss before going to bed. This is especially important if you indulge in sweet treats and sticky snacks while having fun on your vacation.
If you forget a toothbrush while traveling
When you are excited for a vacation it is easy to forget something when packing. Do not let your oral care slide because you forgot something. If you happen to forget a toothbrush or floss, you probably will not have to go very far for help. Most hotel front desks or concierge services have extra dental care products like toothbrushes, toothpaste and floss available for free. Just ask! This is especially helpful if your vacation spot is far from a convenience store or drug store.
Dental Visits for Kids and Students
While the kids are away from school for summer break, put their time to good use by scheduling a visit with a pediatric dentist. Every family member requires a teeth cleaning and checkup twice per year. The summer months are a great time to get the kids into the dental chair. The dentist will check for any developing issues and remind your child about the importance of ongoing oral care.
Summer is also a great time for college students to visit their family dentist. Scheduling an appointment during the summer means that their next six-month appointment will fall during winter break, when they are likely to be home again.
Good oral care and regular visits to your dentist can help prevent problems from occurring and can catch any issues early.
About the Georgia Dental Association: the premier source of oral health information in Georgia. GDA is based in Atlanta. This article is based on their summer press release (thanks, neighbors).
About the North Carolina Dental Society: Headquartered in Cary, the North Carolina Dental Society is a part of the American Dental Association and all NCDS members are also members of the ADA. You can visit their dental health FAQ for more mouth-healthy information.