Summers in Rockland County are nice. Not too hot, but hot enough for most of us. It’s a time to get out and get active by going for a bike ride, running, hiking, or swimming, kayaking, or paddleboarding at Rockland Lake or Mirror Lake. That can be good for your state of mind and good for your body. However, it can be bad for your teeth.
Here are 5 reasons why your teeth may be at risk this summer.
1. Dehydration Is Bad for Your Teeth
Whether you’re working out, playing sports, or just working in the garden, you can get dehydrated. Your saliva levels will decrease, which is bad for your oral health because your saliva protects your teeth and gums.
Saliva has antibacterial properties, which help control the bacteria that attack your teeth and gums. Saliva also contains minerals that help restore your teeth and helps maintain a neutral pH in your mouth. But when you get dehydrated, your saliva can actually turn acidic, leading to increased tooth damage.
Your mouth can also become dry if you breathe through your mouth instead of your nose. Mouth breathing during sleep is common in the summer months.
Regardless of why your mouth is dry or why you’re dehydrated, it’s important to consume enough water for the health of your teeth. Make sure to drink at least 64 ounces of water per day, or more if you’re active or it’s on the hotter side. This will help ensure bacteria is washing away from your teeth enough throughout the day.
2. Rehydration May Not Be Much Better
Make sure you make smart choices when rehydrating. Sports drinks may advertise their ability to rehydrate you, but they contain lots of sugars and can be very acidic. At the very least, consider getting the sugar-free options so you don’t coat your teeth in sugar.
Water, of course, is the best choice, since it hydrates you and contains fluoride that helps protect your teeth.
3. Summer Sports
Although winter is great for sitting around watching football or hockey, during summer, many of us want to get out and become part of the action. The problem is that this can put your own teeth at risk.
Make sure you wear a mouthguard whenever you participate in sports. Remember, even a supposedly “non-contact” sport can lead to serious tooth injuries. If you do end up with a tooth injury of any sort, always respond properly to a chipped or cracked tooth. Leaving a chipped or cracked tooth untreated can result in further damage and dental problems.
4. Sugary and Acidic Summer Drinks
There’s nothing quite like relaxing throughout the summer while sipping on lemonade, a cold beer, a glass of wine, or any other cold beverage. Unfortunately, these drinks are all highly acidic and contain sugar. The sugar and acids can eat away at your enamel and leave a coating of bacteria that will cause cavities and gum disease. Make sure you’re not drinking too many summery drinks without rinsing them down with lots of water. You can also add a few tooth brushing sessions to your routine to limit your risk.
5. Swimming Pools and Teeth
You might think your teeth are the least of your concern when swimming in a pool, but chlorine can have a negative effect on your oral health. As long as you keep pool water out of your mouth you should be fine. Most pools have a pH between 7.2 and 7.8, but they often drop below these levels which means the water is acidic. If water does get in your mouth (and it usually does at some point), the acid from the chlorinated water can wear away your enamel and cause tooth discoloration.
Enhance Your Smile With Help From Our Rockland County Cosmetic Dentist
If you take care of your smile, you can enjoy it for many summers to come. But if you do suffer from decay or injury to your teeth, we can help. We can also help enhance the appearance of your teeth with help from cosmetic dentistry. Whether you have stained, discolored, gapped, crooked, or missing teeth, we offer solutions that can help.
Dr. Dunayer is here to help you achieve a healthy and beautiful smile that you can enjoy all summer long. Just think of how amazing your smile can look in summer photos with our help.