Summer means lazy days by the pool, barbeques on warm evenings, and cool snacks to beat the heat. Yet the long holiday we all wait for may bring increased risk of tooth decay and erosion. Although your dentist would love to welcome you during any season, summertime should not be spent in the dentist's chair--yet for many of us that may just be the case.
The consumption of sugary, frozen treats greatly increases during the summer months and with it, the rate of tooth decay. If you enjoy a refreshing ice cream bar, try to eat it after your meal and to rinse your mouth with water after finishing. If you can, choose low-sugar or sugar-free varieties, and stay away from flavors with extra sugary syrups such as caramel.
Picnics and traveling can turn your daily meal routine into a day-long graze on snacks which is continuously exposing your teeth to erosion and decay. Try to limit endless munching to give your teeth a break. Be careful of sipping too many fizzy drinks or sugary cocktails at block parties and hangouts as well. Don't forget to drink plenty of water, and use a chapstick that affords some protection from the sun. Lip balms with SPF 15 are common and inexpensive, and can be an important preventive measure from oral cancer.
Be prepared to change some of your habits as you look ahead to those summer nights. Make this summer a time to boost your dental health by eating fresh, healthy foods that bring a variety of nutrients and vitamins necessary for strong teeth.