Tips to Keep a Healthy Mouth this Summer
Summer is officially here! Don’t take a vacation from your oral health. In addition to brushing and flossing, try these helpful tips on maintaining a healthy mouth during the hot summer months.
Drink Plenty of Water
Along with summer come the temptations to sip on ice-cold lemonade, seasonal cocktails or refreshing beer, but it's important to remember to drink plenty of water. Not only will water keep you hydrated, but it also helps to diminish bad breath and tooth decay. Dry mouth from lack of water leads to a buildup of bacteria in your mouth. These bacteria convert sugars and carbohydrates from the foods and drinks you consume to acids. The acids begin to attack the enamel on your teeth, which leads to tooth decay. Remembering to drink water throughout the summer days will wash away bacteria and keep your teeth and gums healthy.
Fresh fruits are your best choice when it comes to the perfect summer snack. It's important to choose the right ones for the best oral health. Firm or crunchy fruits, such as apples and pears, have a high water content which weakens the effects of the sugars they contain. They also promote the flow of saliva, which washes away food particles and helps protect against tooth decay. Watermelon is another good choice due to its high water content. It is best to avoid citrus fruits that contain a lot of acid because this can lead to erosion of the tooth enamel. Eating citrus fruits as part of a larger meal can reduce the acid from them.
The high chlorine content in many swimming pools can lead to erosion and weakening of the teeth. Too much exposure can also lead to “swimmer’s calculus”. This occurs when yellowish-brown or dark brown stains appear on the teeth from the added chemicals in the water. The added chemicals give the water a higher pH than your saliva which breaks down the salivary proteins and forms organic deposits on the teeth. This can typically be removed by visiting your dentist. To avoid the harmful effects of spending too much time in the pool, remember to brush your teeth following the activity to reduce the damage.
Summertime means that a lot of your time will be spent outdoors. Whether you are out on the boat, hiking or spending your day at the beach it’s important to remember your oral health. Sugar-free gum is a good solution to avoid bad breath when you aren’t near your toothbrush. Gum prevents the mouth from becoming dry and helps increase saliva flow that rinses away bacteria. Sugarless gum also helps to remove food that becomes stuck to your teeth.
Omni Dental Group wishes everyone an enjoyable and safe summer and we hope you keep these tips in mind to maintain a healthy and happy mouth!
Feel free to give us a call for any of your summer mouth questions or needs!