Smart Summertime Tips for a Healthy Mouth

Summer TipsIt’s summer!

For those of us here in Chicago, merely saying those words makes us feel light, carefree and joyful.  Because we endure so much rough weather for an overwhelming majority of the 365 days of the year, we experience a special kind of happiness when the warm weather months come.

Because of that, we may get a little distracted and let our healthy habits fall to the wayside.  But it’s important to remember to take care of your teeth this season.  Here’s how:

1.  Stay Hydrated

Unfortunately, many of us don’t drink enough water, regardless of the season.  But when temperatures rise, there’s an even greater chance of not being well hydrated.  When it’s warm out and you’re more physically active, you may be having so much fun under the sun that you don’t even realize how much water you’re losing by sweating.

To maintain a healthy body and mouth, you should be drinking 2 liters (or eight 8-ounce glasses) of water per day, but that amount should be increased if you’re moving around a lot on a hot day.  And that’s not just for runners – the same is true for a long day at Lollapalooza or hanging out on the beach.

2.  Don’t Skip a Night

The summer lends itself to late nights, staying the night away from home and a general loosening of the rules.  And all of those things mean you might be more inclined to skip brushing.  Well, don’t!  Even if you’ve had a long day at a street festival and just want to fall into bed or end up sleeping over at a friend’s place, you can always find a way to brush.  You may want to consider keeping a travel toothbrush in your purse or pocket so that you’re always prepared.

3.  Lip Service

We all know it’s important to slather a high SPF sunscreen on before a day in the sun, but not many their lips.  Your lips are very sensitive to damage from the sun, but you can easily protect them by just using a lip balm with an SPF of at least 15.

4.  Safeguard Against Injury

Kids and adults alike usually take part in a lot more physical activity in the summer months.  Outdoor games like beach volleyball, swimming and Frisbee can go from fun to tragic pretty quickly when someone’s tooth gets knocked out or broken.  If you know that you’ll be participating in such an activity, wear a mouth guard just in case.

5.  Smart Snacking

There’s a lot of temptation to eat foods that aren’t good for your teeth in the summer. All of the barbeques, road trips and vacations mean you might not think before you snack.  But your teeth never take a vacation, so be sure to remember to limit sweet and starchy foods and sugary drinks as much as possible.

6.  Swim + Brush

You may not know this, but prolonged exposure to chlorine can be harmful to your teeth.  Sure, the occasional dip in the pool won’t hurt you but if you spend several hours swimming in a pool, you should brush or at least rinse afterwards.

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