Warmth, sunshine, vacations, swimming, cookouts and fireworks on the 4th of July. Everyone loves summer.
Before you head out to enjoy all you have planned for the warm months, take a few moments to think about your health. Summertime creates some unique situations that could cause problems if you’re not prepared.
Here are three scenarios that can specifically affect your oral health, and how to make sure you make it through this summer unscathed:
"Remember, you may be on vacation, but the bacteria in your mouth is not. "
Don’t forget your toothbrush and floss
It’s common to be on the move in the summer. Between extended vacations and weekend road trips, a lot of travel happens during the warmest part of the year.
Here’s the potential problem: Many people are out of their routine when traveling or vacationing. Maybe they are eating out more, consuming more sweets, or eating different foods. This often means skipping over those usual few minutes dedicated to brushing and flossing.
Remember: you may be on vacation, but the bacteria in your mouth is not.
Invest in a travel toothbrush and toothpaste, a small bottle of mouthwash, and a small packet of dental floss that you can easily bring with you in the car, store in your bag, or somewhere else handy. If it’s impossible to take the time to brush and floss when you know you should because of circumstances, at least use a swig of antibacterial mouthwash between meals.
Protect your teeth if you’re playing sports
For a lot of people, summertime is defined by the schedule of sports they participate in. Whether it’s formal or informal, team sports are a hugely popular pastime across the nation, especially in the summer months.
Did you know that over 5 million teeth are lost every year, most from sports-related injuries? According to the Journal of the American Dental Association, as many as 39% of all dental injuries are sports related.
As a result, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry's policy on prevention of sports-related orofacial injuries recommends children involved in specific sports wear a mouthguard whenever they are participating. The same precaution could certainly help adults as well.
While standard sized mouthguards are available for just a few dollars at most drug stores, your dentist can fit you with a customized mouthguard that may do a better job of keeping your teeth safe while also being more comfortable.
Schedule your 6-month checkup around summer plans
Even when summer schedules gets busy, making routine health appointments is essential.
With our summer schedules so filled with fun activities, vacations, and more, it’s easy to let more mundane matters slip into the background and get overlooked.
Don’t let that happen to your semi-annual dental cleaning and exam.
The dental examination you’re supposed to get every six months is vitally important to your oral and overall health. Not only will the hygienist clean your teeth, but the dentist has the opportunity to inspect your mouth, teeth, and gums for signs of disease.
Since your oral health is directly connected to other body systems, your dentist can locate early warning signs of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and other serious medical issues during a standard examination.
Although it may seem tempting to bypass the 6-month checkup in favor of other activities that are more fun, it’s important to stay on track.
Bonus tip: spending can get away from us in the summertime too. Consider having a discount dental plan in place so you don’t have to worry about a big dental bill taking away from your vacation savings account.