Ever wonder what looks really good against bronzed, sun-kissed skin? A dazzling white smile, of course! And no smile is dazzling unless it’s full of healthy teeth – something you can achieve even during the summer months. While these hot days pose a few ways to potentially damage your teeth, you can preserve – or attain – healthy teeth and gums pretty easily. The first step is understanding what the dangers are.
Pools and Chlorinated Water
Water addicts, take note: the pool could actually be putting your smile at risk. Swimming pools are full of chlorine and other substances used to keep water clean and sanitary. Unfortunately, all these chemicals can do a number on your teeth. Sure, you’re not gulping in pool water, but extended exposure – more than five or six hours per week – has been observed to discolor front teeth. This is because higher pH levels can break down proteins in saliva and cause a brownish stain on teeth. Poorly maintained pools – where pH levels are way off kilter – can soften your teeth’s natural enamel and put it at risk of decay. Keeping your regular dental checkups and cleanings can help monitor the effects of your swim life on your teeth.
If you’re a kid (or an adult with a nostalgic sweet tooth), summertime is all about popsicles, ice cream cones, root beer floats and chowing down on bags of candy during summer matinees and sleepovers. All of these sweet treats don’t just deplete kids (of all ages) of energy and deprive them of valuable nutrition, but they also can lead to tooth decay. And summertime drinks are no better. From sugary sports drinks to punch and soda at summer barbecues, that high fructose corn syrup can damage your smile. Keep your teeth white and healthy while staying hydrated by taking in water for the bulk of your liquid needs. Need a sweet treat? Keep grapes, blueberries and strawberries in the freezer!
Find the Time
Summer is full of plans – from sports to picnics to parties and day camp. It’s the perfect time of year for routines to get all messed up. But that shouldn’t mean your oral hygiene should be left to the wayside. Make sure kids (and adults too) are practicing good oral care by brushing at least twice a day (and more, if you’re into those summer treats) and flossing at least once.
Summer is much better with a bright smile!