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7 Ways To Maintain Oral Health During Summer

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When you think about summer, barbecues, vacations, and swimming likely come to mind. But did you know many of your favorite summer activities could be disastrous for your teeth? Van Dyke General and Implant Dentistry offers these easy general dentistry tips to safeguard your oral health throughout the summer months.

Brush After Swimming

While swimming is a popular way to beat the summer heat in Florida, where you choose to swim can have an impact on oral health. Swimming pools are convenient, but their high chlorine levels can lead to eroded and weakened teeth. Remember to brush your teeth after swimming to get rid of any chemicals from the pool.

Snack Wisely

Summertime often features a wide array of foods that lend themselves to snacking throughout the day. But it's a good idea to snack wisely and steer clear of popular cookout dishes and foods high in carbohydrates and sugar. As your saliva and teeth break down these foods, the remaining particles interact with oral bacteria to form plaque, a leading cause of cavities. Eating fresh fruits and vegetables increases saliva production. Foods that are great for promoting good oral health through the summer include:

  • Cheese: The calcium and casein in cheese help protect and strengthen tooth structure through enamel remineralization.
  • Fish & Meat: Common on grills throughout the summer, fish, and meat can also help improve oral health with enamel-strengthening phosphorus.
  • Apples: Don’t let their natural sugar content dissuade you from enjoying apples. Apples stimulate the gums and have a natural cleansing action when chewed.

Offer Dental Picks Instead Of Toothpicks

Corn on the cob, pulled pork, and various side salads are staples of summertime barbecue menus. But these foods can leave your guests reaching for toothpicks, which can be hazardous. The sharp end of a toothpick can splinter or pierce gums, creating an opening for bacteria. Provide guests with dental picks instead. Dental picks are able to remove food residue without the risk of puncturing gum tissue or splintering.

Hydrate Yourself Properly

Proper hydration improves overall health and promotes saliva production. Extra saliva rinses away bacteria and food particles that could otherwise lead to plaque formation and other oral issues. Your Gainesville dentist would recommend opting for cold water instead of alcoholic and sugary beverages to stay hydrated.

Remember A Mouthguard

The risk of dental injuries increases during the summer with the many outdoor activities of the season. Wearing a mouthguard can protect your teeth and mouth against facial and dental injuries while playing contact sports, such as basketball and beach volleyball, during the summer and year-round.

Use Crushed — Not Cubed — Ice

Ice cubes are great for cooling a drink but awful for chewing on mindlessly. Many times, the cubes are harder than expected and can break teeth and/or damage enamel. If you want ice in a drink, make sure it's crushed. Or, chill drinks in a tub of ice before consumption to avoid the temptation of chewing on ice.

Visit Your Dentist In Gainesville, FL

Scheduling one of your recommended two annual dental exams during the summer is a great way to ensure good oral health for the months ahead. An exam will provide peace of mind and minimize the risk of a toothache or worse during a vacation. Contact Van Dyke General and Implant Dentistry to schedule an appointment with a dentist in Gainesville, FL.