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Does Oral Health Need a Summer Switch-Up?

 

Summertime is here, along with days at the beach, trips to the amusement park, barbecues and camping underneath the stars. But along with all the fun and relaxation the season brings, there are new challenges to your oral health, too. Before you step out the door on that family vacation, check out these oral care tips to keep your smile dazzling all summer long!

Prevent Oral Cancer

Did you know that you can get oral cancer from the sun? It’s true! A sunburn on your lips can cause melanoma, and that melanoma can spread to inside your mouth. Summer is sunburn season, so make sure you’re applying (and re-applying) sunblock on your entire body, including your lips. We’re not saying put that SPF 50 on your mouth, but don’t forget to grab a tube of SPF lip balm for everyone in your family and reapply as needed.

Protect your Teeth

Flag football. Beach volleyball. Softball. What do these sports have in common? Well, besides being summer staples, they’re all potential hazards for your smile. This summer, if you plan on playing any sport where you could be hit by a ball, consider investing in a mouth guard to protect your teeth from an accidental elbow - or baseball - to the mouth.

Escape the Grind

Heading to the beach or amusement park for a day of fun can be dangerous for your teeth! All that stop-and-go traffic, the scary roller coasters, and the critique of your parenting skills by your beloved mother-in-law at the family barbecue can make you tense up and grind your teeth. If you notice yourself doing this, speak to Dr. Simpson about getting a custom mouth guard to protect your teeth from the wear and damage of bruxism, or teeth grinding. They’re great for everyday use, and most people can’t even tell you’re wearing it, including that critical-eyed MIL of yours.

Pack the Essentials

Whether you’re heading out on a camping trip or to a five-star resort, don’t forget to pack your oral health supplies: toothpaste, toothbrush and floss. Thankfully if you forget, most hotels can provide you with a backup, but if you have prescription toothpaste or a brush that’s specifically suited to your oral health needs, those are better than a hotel freebie. If you’re in the middle of nowhere in a tent, getting a brush, floss and paste may be a bit harder, so don’t forget to pack yours. If you need a mirror to floss, don’t use that as an excuse to forgo this important step. Pack a small hand mirror or compact to assist you so you don’t miss a beat!

Don’t Overdo It

Fairs, carnivals and boardwalks are a summer staple - along with cotton candy, saltwater taffy, candy apples and giant cups of lemonade. But all these foods are brutal on your teeth, so make sure if you do indulge, you follow with a big bottle of water, and don’t skip brushing and flossing that day, either.

Stay Hydrated!

Finally, it bears repeating that the summer heat can cause many medical emergencies, from dehydration to heat stroke. Make sure you are staying hydrated this summer. Drinking water will not only help replenish the fluids your body loses through sweat, but it will also keep your teeth and gums hydrated and your breath fresher, too!

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Michele Simpson DDS

Wilmington Dental Office

3317 Masonboro Loop Rd • Suite 140 • Wilmington, NC 28409

(910) 550-3959

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(910) 550-3959

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3317 Masonboro Loop Rd
Suite 140
Wilmington, NC 28409