Ahh, sweet summertime. Summer is filled with sunshine, making memories, trips to the beach, gatherings with friends, more laughs, and fewer responsibilities. As you spend time having fun in the sun, you may be more likely to push your everyday tasks to the wayside. To make sure you don’t forget to keep your teeth pearly white, here are some tips for maintaining a healthy and bright smile.
Stick to a Routine
With freer schedules, it can be challenging to stick to your regular routine. You and your children may hit snooze a few times or even skip setting the alarm altogether. What once was a set breakfast time before getting ready for school no longer exists, and healthy food options are no longer a priority.
To keep your teeth shining bright, we recommend trying to stick to a routine as much as possible. Starting the day with a nutritious breakfast and ensuring you and your children brush their teeth twice a day for two minutes will keep your teeth healthy and strong. If having a routine during the summer is a challenge for you, set reminders in your phone to alert you when it is time to brush, so you don’t forget.
Eliminate Sugary Food and Drink
As the temperatures in the summer months rise, people naturally reach for sugary sports drinks to keep them hydrated. Sports drinks have both high sugar content and high levels of acidity. This combination damages your teeth as the acidity weakens your enamel, and the sugar encourages bacterial growth. This thirst-quenching beverage could potentially lead to cavities long-term. Water is a healthy replacement to keep you hydrated and smiling bright. If you choose to have a sports drink, try sipping water in between to rinse your mouth of the sugar and acid.
You may notice your schedule begins to fill with social gatherings like barbecues or parties during the summer months, which often come with tables full of sweets and desserts. We would never tell you not to curb your sweet tooth craving, but we will recommend indulging in moderation. Cakes, cookies, and your other favorite treats are high in sugar and carbs. While sugar is known to be bad for your teeth, starchy carbohydrates can also lead to tooth decay. Simple carbs break down into simple sugars, causing further harm to your teeth.
Drink Through a Straw
Drinking through a straw minimizes tooth contact, reducing the risk of tooth discoloration, tooth decay, and sensitivity. Whether you are in the mood for sweet tea to cool you down or iced coffee for a bit more energy, a straw will also protect your teeth from excess sugar sticking to your teeth. To be environmentally friendly, use a metal, bamboo, or silicone straw to reuse at your convenience!
Use a Custom Fit Mouth Guard
If your child participates in summer sports, protect their teeth with a custom-fit mouthguard. A mouthguard acts as a protective layer over their upper teeth, which helps protect them from injury due to collision.
While custom-fit mouth guards can be a financial investment, they are preferred compared to a store-bought mouthguard. Custom-fit mouth guards are more durable, whereas over-the-counter ones are made of a thin plastic that can oftentimes be too tight or too loose. Store-bought mouthguards are fit to your mouth through a “boil and bite” method, which can have inaccurate results.
Make Your Back-To-School Dental Appointment
It is recommended that children as young as 19 months of age see a pediatric dentist every six months. While home oral care is an essential contributor to your oral health, visiting the dentist regularly can prevent future tooth decay.
At SCV Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics, we value preventative dental care, which is why we emphasize teaching healthy oral hygiene habits. Scheduling a tooth cleaning while your schedule is a bit lighter is the perfect solution to maintaining a healthy, strong smile this summer.
Call our offices today at (661) 215-6655 to schedule your appointment today!