Most people place an emphasis on protecting their skin in those sunny, summer months, but have you ever thought about protecting your teeth?
In it’s blog “Little known facts about teeth and summer,” Midwest Dental outlines five things associated with summer that could harm your mouth.
Swimming in pools
According to the Guardian Direct, frequent swimmers could develop swimmer’s calculus, a condition that causes discolored front teeth. Because pools have a high pH level, the water can cause brown stains and prevent saliva from doing its job in cleansing the mouth. Poor enamel health is common in competitive swimmers because of prolonged exposure to chlorine.
To protect your teeth from this condition, dental benefits company Delta Dental recommends keeping up with your twice-a-year check ups, rinse your mouth with tap water after you swim, and get sufficient fluoride to strengthen your enamel by fluoridated tap water and brush with fluoride toothpaste twice a day.
You’re more likely to get dehydrated when doing outdoor activities in the summer. When you’re dehydrated, saliva production decreases, which can affect oral health.
Saliva is your mouth’s first defense against tooth decay. It helps to wash away and keeps your teeth strong by washing them with calcium, phosphate and fluoride. By drinking enough water, you help prevent dry mouth and ensure that your saliva is produced at an optimal rate.
The bacteria-fighting saliva also protects agains gingivitis.
Summer is the time for outdoor sports, and with outdoor sports comes the potential for injury. While most people think about injuries as being broken bones, scrapes and bruises, they often forget about injuries to the mouth.
Midewest Dental recommends protecting teeth, cheeks, gums and lips with a low-cost mouth guard when playing sports.
“It could save you from a knocked out or chipped tooth, and it will prevent you from grinding your teeth during the big game,” reads the blog.
You can’t sunburn your teeth, but you can get a sunburn on your lips.
Midwest Dental writes that the lies might be the most susceptible body part to sunburn because most people don’t think about them when planning their protection from the sun.
“It’s important to not rely on regular sunscreen to protect your lips,” the blog reads. “Choose a lip balm with a minimum of SPF 15. It is designed for your lips, and it will stick better.”
And just like with sunscreen, it’s recommended that you reapply it every couple hours.