Summertime in the South means fun in the sun, late nights at the ballpark, barbecues and trips to the beach.
Here are 5 tips for keeping your teeth healthy while you enjoy those long summer nights with family and friends.
- Try to avoid sugary snacks and sugary drinks: When it’s hot outside, it can be tempting to reach for lemonade, soda, a sno-ball, or even a sugary sports drink if you’re spending a lot of time outdoors. Not only are those drinks bad for your waistline, they’re also bad for your teeth. Sugar attaches itself to your teeth, and then the bacteria in your mouth find the sugar and start to eat it. But when the bacteria eat the sugar, it produces an acid that will eventually erode the enamel on your teeth, making them more brittle. Sugary drinks are one of the most common dietary reasons for tooth decay. Dentists recommend moderation and replacing those sugary beverages with water or milk.
- Drink lots and lots of water: It’s widely known that drinking plenty of water has plenty of health benefits, but did you know that adequate water consumption also helps your teeth? With every sip, your mouth gets cleaner, washing away all the residue and crumbs left in your mouth after a meal. Not only that, water helps to dilute the acid that bacteria creates in your mouth. Drinking water also helps to prevent a dry mouth, and when your mouth is dry and your saliva runs low, you are at a higher risk for tooth decay. You should still brush your teeth twice daily for two minutes and floss regularly, but drinking water will also aid in your healthy smile. If water isn’t your thing, you can also try unsweetened green tea as an occasional substitute. A study concluded that green tea can help fight the bacteria in your mouth that cause tooth decay, and can also help to fight gum disease.
- Add tap water to your daily water intake: Fluoride is a natural mineral that’s also known as “nature’s cavity fighter.” It fights tooth decay by helping by making your teeth more resistant to the acid that’s produced by bacteria in your mouth. It also helps to reverse early signs of tooth decay. You can find fluoride in most toothpastes, but another good source of fluoride is tap water. Fluoride has been added to water systems for about 70 years specifically to help with tooth decay.
- Drink through a straw: If you can’t avoid the sugary or acidic beverages, consider drinking them through a straw. Why? Because using a straw lessens the contact these beverages have with your teeth. Professionals also recommend finishing the drink quickly instead of sipping it slowly.
- Get your summer checkup! Don’t wait until summer is over to schedule your dental check-up. Scheduling you or your children’s appointments at the beginning of summer can go a long way in preventing problems down the road. And hey, our office is has air conditioning–so you know you can always schedule your appointment during the hottest part of the day, rest your feet, and cool off!
Dr. Tim Chauvin and associates have been helping South Louisianans flash their best and brightest smiles for years. Contact their office to schedule your appointment today.