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Summertime and your dental health in Kansas City

Can Summer Fun be Hard on Your Oral Health?

Who doesn’t love summer? It’s a time filled with fun activities, from picnics and pool days to sports and outdoor adventures. Are you planning some fun in the sun this summer? You may be surprised to know that some summer activities can take a toll on your oral health. But you don’t have to worry! Your Kansas City family dentist has assembled some tips to help you enjoy all that summer has to offer while still keeping your smile bright and healthy for all those summertime selfies!

Watch out for acidic or sugary foods and drinks. Snacks and fun go hand in hand, and the summer heat makes it tempting to reach for an ice-cold drink. Just be wary of what you’re eating and drinking at those picnics, pool parties, and backyard barbecues. Many foods and beverages are acidic or loaded with sugar (or both), and that’s a terrible combination for your teeth. As your Kansas City family dentist, we’d especially caution you to be wary of sugar-laden soft drinks and energy drinks. Not only are they bad for your teeth, but they don’t actually help you stay hydrated. Drink a tall, cold glass of water instead. The same goes for sugary treats like ice cream or popsicles.

Protect yourself from sunburned lips. You always apply plenty of sunscreen before you head out to play in the sun, but do you also remember to protect your lips? Lip balms with SPF can actually help to protect your lips from sunburn the same way that sunscreen protects the rest of your skin. Aim for lip balm with an SPF of at least 15, though 30 or higher is even better.

Wear a mouthguard during summer sports. Mouthguards help to prevent more than 200,000 injuries each and every year, many of them serious. A well-fitting mouthguard is a piece of sports equipment that’s every bit as indispensable as any other. Your Kansas City family dentist can help you choose the mouthguard that’s right for you.

Stay hydrated! Staying hydrated is important for your overall health and will help keep you feeling your best, but it’s easy to get dehydrated on a hot summer day, especially when the humidity is high. That’s why it’s important to drink plenty of water. One warning: Don’t chew on the ice cubes. Chewing on ice cubes is a good way to crack or chip your teeth or damage your teeth’s enamel.

Watch your allergies. Here in the greater Kansas City area, spring and summer are peak periods for airborne allergens, as allergy sufferers know all too well. Allergies can affect your oral health in a number of ways by causing dry mouth or gum inflammation, which can both be gateways to more serious concerns such as tooth decay, gum disease, and gingivitis.

Don’t let your habits lapse. A good oral care routine is vital to your dental health, but when we’re traveling or going on summer vacation, it can be all too easy to let our usual routines slip. Be sure that you’re packing everything you need to brush, floss, and rinse as usual and that you make the time to do so on vacation. After all, it only takes a few minutes, and you’ll be able to enjoy your travels without worrying about how your trip is impacting your oral health.

Whatever your plans for the summer, the best way to make the most of it is to simply stay mindful of your overall dental health. Don’t let summer fun disrupt your usual oral care routine! That includes making sure that you schedule your regular check-up with your Kansas City family dentist before school starts back up so that everyone’s smiles will look bright and healthy at the start of the new school year. Call (816) 763-8400 or click here to schedule an appointment with Blacker Family Dental today!