Summer is a great time to step up your oral hygiene routine! Although your day-to-day routine may change on summer vacation or because of fun summertime activities, you can still incorporate daily dental maintenance to ensure your smile stays healthy and bright. These five summertime tips will help you maintain good oral health throughout the season.
- Say no to sugary foods and beverages
Although many Americans enjoy sweetened foods and beverages, these sugar-filled treats are a major cause of tooth decay. The harmful bacteria in your mouth feed on sugar, multiplying and producing acid that can lead to cavities and enamel erosion. By reducing the number of sugary foods and beverages you consume, you can give bacteria in your mouth less of a chance to hurt your dental health.
- Use adequate sun protection
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the sun’s ultraviolet rays can damage your skin in as little as 15 minutes. To reduce your risk of skin damage and lip, skin, or oral cancer, protect your smile from the sun! The easiest way to do this is to avoid direct sunlight during peak hours and block UV rays with a hat, sunscreen, and SPF lip balm.
- Stay hydrated
As we eat throughout the day, mouth bacteria feast on leftover food particles. The longer the food is left lingering around, the more likely acid-producing bacteria are to remove the protective layer of teeth and cause tooth decay. Drinking water helps keep your teeth and gums healthy by washing away these food particles and acidic substances on your teeth. Additionally, it helps keep your mouth moist, which helps you maintain good oral health.
- Practice proper brushing and flossing technique
Although most people know the importance of brushing twice a day and flossing once a day, many do not give extra thought to how to do it. To properly brush your teeth, hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle and use gentle, circular motions for approximately two minutes. As for flossing, keep the floss tight against your teeth to break up plaque without irritating your gums. Effective oral hygiene practices foster healthier teeth and gums by preventing plaque from forming along your gum line.
- Pay a visit to the dentist
Did you know that roughly 50% of adults in the United States don’t see a dentist yearly? If you skip your bi-annual dentist visit, you are more susceptible to tooth decay and gum disease. Even patients with an excellent oral hygiene routine can fail to clean the hard-to-reach places in their mouth. That is why it is important to see a dentist every six months for routine dental check-ups. These appointments help keep gum disease at bay and are important for detecting systemic health issues.
This summer, be proactive about protecting your oral health! By maintaining a healthy, balanced diet, staying hydrated, and keeping tabs on your oral hygiene routine, you can help ensure that your smile stays healthy for life. If you have any additional questions about dental health, schedule an appointment with your dentist. He or she can educate you on the best oral hygiene practices and preventative treatments for your smile.