Summer brings a sort of carefree vibe that makes people a little less strict with their routines. Especially if you are going on vacation. Diets, exercise routines, and other healthy regimens do not apply when you are sipping mimosas by the beach.
But unfortunately, there are some things you cannot neglect for more than three days, like taking care of your dental health. Brushing and flossing is one of the routines you need to uphold every day, even during your summer vacation.
Neglecting your dental health for too long is harmful, and you could end the summer with a missing tooth or severe infections. Yet people fall for the same mistakes repeatedly when summer comes. 2022 is a chance to make a change.
Below are the most common practices that damage your teeth during the summer. We hope that learning about them could point out some of the things that could be giving you tooth infections, and you will make a change to benefit your dental health.
Eating too much sugar
The temptation to eat sugary foods during summer is almost as great as on Halloween. Summer brings heat, and there is nothing as refreshing as a cold popsicle, soda, or juice box during a heatwave. This trend is prevalent among adults and kids.
Eating too much sugar encourages bacteria growth. Sugar creates an acid that erodes the enamel of the teeth, letting bacteria travel to the gums and roots. This, combined with the heat of summer, triggers a faster infection rate, and you will develop tooth decay.
Indulging in sugary treats is okay; you just need to control your intake. Consider chilling juicy fruits for your cold sugar fix.
We understand; that you want to beat the heat fast, and chewing ice is a great way to do that. While some people cannot get over the cold on their teeth as they crack the ice, others feel no effects and even enjoy chewing ice. But just because you do not feel any effects does not mean it is safe.
Chewing ice is bad for your tooth enamel. While enamel’s hardness remains unmatched in the human body, chewing ice can easily damage it. Damage to the enamel leaves the tooth vulnerable to acid and bacteria.
Drinking insufficient water
Are you drinking enough water during the summer? The heat makes you drink more water, but it might not be enough, especially if you find other ways to stay cool. Dehydration can lead to several dental issues.
First, you will deal with dry mouth, which triggers bad breath. Dehydration will also make bacteria thrive in the mouth since you won’t be drinking enough water to flush away bacteria. An increase in growth means you become more prone to infections. Therefore, you will suffer from gum disease, decay, and inflammation.
Using the same toothbrush when traveling
This is a common mistake people make when traveling. Experts advise getting a new toothbrush when you travel for various reasons. First, your regular toothbrush may be past the three-month replacement date, so this is a chance to replace it.
Secondly, a new toothbrush will be able to deal with the influx of plaque and sugar that you will intake during the vacation. A new toothbrush is better at cleaning, and you need this power if your diet involves more sugar and acidic foods. Ensure you get a soft bristle toothbrush and store it well when traveling to prevent contamination.
Replacing water with acidic and sugary foods
Some people barely drink water during summer. Cooling down with a cold soda, energy drink, or alcoholic beverage seems easier. Some people even vow to drink nothing but alcoholic beverages when vacationing in summer. Similarly, some children pick soda and popsicles over water during this time.
Acidic drinks such as alcohol and energy drinks have a corrosive effect on the enamel of the teeth. They strip the enamel, exposing the underneath layers, which are susceptible to bacteria, and sensitivity. Remember that the enamel does not regenerate, so you will be dealing with permanent damage. Therefore, limit your acidic drink intake, or balance it with water.
Not wearing mouth protection.
Spending more time outside is expected in summer. And this could lead you to a few rounds of contact sports with friends and family members. Most people always forget their mouth guards in the heat of the fun, which can lead to disaster.
When you play contact sports, there is always the risk of getting hurt. You could bite on your tongue, get a tooth knocked out, or end up with a bruised lip. While summer fun is welcome, you should participate responsibly, with adequate mouth protection.
Insufficient lip care
As the temperatures rise, you need to find ways to care for your lips. Heat and consistent sun exposure are not good for your lips. The lips are prone to sunburns and chronic sun damage because they have little melanin, the pigment that protects against the sun.
Therefore, constant sun exposure without adequate care increases cracking, dryness, and the chances of developing lip cancer. Staying hydrated and moisturized is important. Ensure you have good lip-care moisturizers to use throughout the summer. Carry it everywhere and reapply it often, even if it is not sunny.
Ignoring brushing and flossing
Even as you stray from your routine, ensure that you do not skip brushing and flossing. A week of no brushing and flossing allows plaque to build up, putting your teeth at risk of infection. Therefore, ensure you pack a toothbrush and dental floss for your trip.
Floss at least once and brush twice per day. Remember that mouthwash is not a replacement for brushing, but it helps. So it would help to use mouthwash when traveling. But always make time for brushing your teeth.
Skipping the end of summer checkup
And lastly, skipping your end-of-summer dental checkup is bad. You should always go to the dentist after summer, especially if you have been off your everyday routine and out of the country. Ensure that your kids get a dental checkup before returning to school. Similarly, if you get mouth injuries, ensure you visit your dentist as soon as they happen to prevent permanent damage and increase the chances of healing.