With kids out of school and schedules easing in some workplaces, many people take the opportunity to relax over the summer. Generally speaking, that’s a good thing. Relaxation is good for both your physical and mental health.
But don’t become too relaxed about dental care. Relaxed schedules and a break from routine can lead to dental care don’ts that may adversely impact your family’s smiles.
We’ve listed five dental care don’ts to avoid this summer. If you have questions about our recommendations or any other aspect of your family’s care, call Beaumont Family Dentistry or visit one of our three Lexington, KY locations.
Dental Care Don’t No. 1: Delaying Dental Exams
We suggest seeing our Lexington, KY dentists twice a year for dental exams and cleanings. If you have a summer vacation or two on your calendar, it may be tempting to put off these visits. Bad idea! A professional cleaning removes plaque that you miss when brushing and flossing at home and the tartar that forms as a result.
An exam also give our dentists a chance to identify any potential dental problems as soon as possible. Treating them in their early stages is simpler, less invasive, and less costly. These regular checkups are one of the most important – and easiest – ways to reducing your risk of cavities and gum disease.
Dental Care Don’t No. 2: Not Getting Enough Water
Drinking water is a healthy habit for many reasons. It’s good for your dental health because it helps keep your breath fresh and also washes away food debris that can lead to cavities. It’s especially important in the summer, when you lose more water through perspiration.
We recommend drinking at least eight glasses of water a day. If that seems like a lot, remember you can increase your water intake by eating fruits and vegetables like watermelon, tomatoes, and cucumbers. They’re in season now, so they’ll taste especially good and be more affordable too!
Dental Care Don’t No. 3: Chewing on Ice
Sodas, sweet tea, and lemonade are all popular summer drinks. Yet they actually don’t do much to hydrate you and can even have the opposite effect. They seem refreshing, though, especially if consumed with lots of ice. But don’t chew ice, as it can chip away at your tooth enamel.
An ice chewing habit can weaken your teeth, making them more susceptible to breaks and cracks. If you do break or crack a tooth, seek treatment with our dentists right away. We’ll want to protect your tooth with a dental restoration, to avoid making damage worse and to prevent bacteria from getting inside your tooth.
Dental Care Don’t No. 4: Sipping Sugary Beverages
If you do decide to indulge in a sugary beverage, you may think you’ll prevent dental damage by limiting the amount you take in. However, it’s more damaging to your teeth if you sip on a single soda all afternoon than if you drink three of them back to back. The longer your teeth are exposed to excess sugar, the greater your chance of developing tooth decay. It’s a good idea to finish your drink fairly quickly, then rinse out your mouth with water if possible.
Dental Care Don’t No. 5: Not Wearing an Athletic Mouthguard
With warmer temperatures and longer days, folks often participate in more sports during the summer. We suggest wearing an athletic mouthguard, especially if your sport involves physical contact, jumping, running, or the possibility of getting hit in the face with a ball. Your chance of suffering a dental injury drops dramatically if you wear a mouthguard.
You can get a “boil-and-bite” mouthguard at a sporting goods store. But it won’t fit as well as a custom-made mouthguard made using impressions of your teeth and other exact measurements. Our dentists will make sure your mouthguard fits perfectly, even if you wear orthodontics. With a good fit, you’ll be less likely to leave it on the sidelines.
Between games, keep your mouthguard clean and dry. We suggest rinsing and drying it after every use and storing it in a sturdy container with vents.
Avoiding these dental care don’ts will help keep your smiles healthy! If you need to schedule a dental exam or any other dental service, call us: 859-223-2120 (Beaumont), 859-687-0975 (Hamburg), or 859-368-8260 (Leestown).