The sun, sand, surf, and celebration season is finally here. And with borders opening up to visitors since the pandemic is manageable. Many people are looking to travel and finally have a well-deserved vacation.
Whether traveling solo or with your kids, it is important to realize that your dental habits are not on vacation. You can get carried away with the carefree vibe of summer. But you must refrain from falling out of routine, or else you will end the season with gaps, fillers, or artificial replacements.
Luckily, we have a helpful guide to keep you on top of dental care as you enjoy the summer. So get your swimming trunks but do not forget your toothbrush as we uncover this practical and easy-to-follow guide.
Brush a little more
So the first thing you should adopt is brushing a little more. You may find yourself consuming sugary foods more. The extra sugar influx can damage the enamel, so your routine will not cut it. You may need to add a brushing activity after you eat sugary foods. One more should help with plaque, and do not overdo it since overbrushing is bad for your teeth.
If you do not have time to brush after eating sugary foods, then you should invest in mouthwash. Using mouthwash after eating sugary foods is good as it can flush the sugar, preventing acidity that erodes the enamel. When buying mouthwash, choose a fluoride-infused brand and follow instructions. Mouthwash is especially convenient when traveling but note that it does not replace brushing.
Next, you should drink more water. Remember that you are losing water faster than in other seasons. To prevent dry mouth, you need to replenish water in your system for adequate saliva production. Dry mouth plus the heat make it easier for bacteria to thrive. Therefore, ensure you drink plenty of water. It can also help flush out sugar and acidity from carbonated drinks.
Don’t chew your popsicles
You and your kids will eat more popsicles and ice cream. And while some cringe at biting into frozen desserts, others enjoy it. Still, teach yourself and the kids to avoid chewing popsicles. Frozen foods can damage the enamel, making your teeth crack and prone to bacterial infections. Instead, enjoy frozen desserts by sucking lightly and often giving your lips a break.
Find sugar alternatives
Desserts that beat the heat are all the rage this summer. But they might not be the healthiest choice for your teeth since they contain a lot of sugar. But it does not mean you will not curb your sweet tooth. You can find healthier alternatives with natural sugars that will better your teeth. For example, make a milkshake with milk and assorted frozen berries.
Use a straw and drink fast
Unless you are fully dedicated to avoiding carbonated beverages during the summer vacation, you will drink more. Unfortunately, the acidic nature of these drinks can be harmful to your teeth since they erode the enamel. A good way to minimize contact with the teeth is by using a straw and drinking quickly, do not let the liquid sit in your mouth, and always use a straw.
Invest in sensitivity products
Eating more cold foods to stay cool can affect people with sensitivity. You might not even know you have sensitivity until your teeth contact ice cream. Ask your dentist about sensitivity dental products such as toothpaste and mouthwash to help you get through the season of cold foods. Use them as advised.
Get adequate lip care
If you want less cracked lips during the summer, free from sores, and infections, ensure you get good lip care. You will lose moisture fast, and the lips are prone to sunburns since they have little melanin. Therefore, ensure that you get good chapstick or moisturizer to keep your lips plump, protected from the sun, and healthy.
Wear a mouthguard
Ensure that you wear a mouthguard and encourage children in your care to do the same. Summer fun means playing outside, which can easily translate to contact sports. Anything could happen, from tooth chipping to getting knocked out.
A good way to prevent injury is by wearing a good mouthguard before playing. And if your tooth gets knocked out, visit your dentist immediately for reattaching.
Build a good oral care travel kit
If you travel during summer, ensure you build a good travel oral care kit to keep up with your routine. First, buy a new travel toothbrush and travel-size toothpaste. You should also bring dental picks as they are easier to use on the move. But you can also carry dental floss and travel-size mouthwash.
Store your toothbrush well as you travel to prevent contamination, and always rinse it before using it. You can also let it sit in boiling water if you suspect contamination.
Avoid using your teeth as tools
This is an everyday practice for some, but it can worsen as you travel or vacation during summer. Most people use their teeth to open snacks, bottles, and even cut string. The enamel is hard, but it can break with too much pressure leaving room for bacterial infections to penetrate the other layers. Refrain from using your mouth as a tool and instead get a pocket knife.
Take advantage of summer produce
Many fruits and vegetables are fresh in summer. So catch up on summer vibes by eating more fresh produce to help with dental health. For example, cucumbers are fresh in summer, and eating them raw can scrub your teeth and help you produce more saliva to flush bacteria and food particles.
Similarly, you could try watermelon. The high water content of watermelon triggers saliva production, cleaning your mouth from food particles and bacteria. It is also rich in fiber and therefore scrubs your teeth as you eat.
Blueberries are also fresh in the summer and rich in antioxidants that boost your immune system to prevent gum disease and bacterial infections adequately. Therefore, consider pairing them with cold milk for a refreshing summer smoothie that makes your teeth stronger.
Following these tips, plus scheduling a dental appointment after summer, should leave you with strong, healthy teeth and gums for the start of another season.