Additional Challenges For Your Teeth During The Summer Months
Continuing our blogs on maintaining healthy teeth through the warmer weather.
In our previous blog we looked at what you should do if a dental problem flares up whilst you are on holiday and the bulk of it focussed on what to do when abroad.
With the relatively warm UK temperature in July, and as many hope, into August and beyond, not all of us will take a holiday abroad and possibly stay in the UK instead. Whether you holiday in the UK or not though, you will almost certainly encounter many of the temptations of summer during your daily life.
In today’s blog, we take a look at some summer oral health tips that will help you to avoid the most common problems that can occur during an extended warm weather spell.
Keep brushing and flossing
Whether we attend barbecues late into the evening or just feel exhausted at the end of a hot working day, you should always take time to brush and floss your teeth as well, if not better, than you normally do. It can be tempting to simply give it a miss when we are tired, but especially in warmer weather, this is likely to lead to bacterial infections and tooth decay. A good way to make sure that you are cleaning your teeth and gums as best as you can is to see the hygienist in the Blue Sky Dental clinical team for an update on your cleaning methods.
Hot weather temptations
It is completely understandable that on a hot day, you may be tempted by ice creams and ice cold fizzy drinks, possibly including alcohol. Make sure that you do so in moderation though. Ice creams and the like are very high in sugar and we don’t need to explain how destructive that can be to your teeth. Fizzy drinks are not only full of sugar, but also often highly acidic as well. These factors are likely to lead to enamel erosion.
Much of our body is made up of water and it is essential that we replenish this throughout the day, and even more so in hot weather when we sweat more. As mentioned above, fizzy sugary drinks are not the best way to do this and, as far as you can, you should stick to water or sugar-free alternatives. This is not only less harmful to your teeth but will also be more beneficial for your general health. Failure to stay hydrated will lead to an increase in bacteria in your mouth while you sleep, often resulting in a dry mouth. This is not only unpleasant but is a significant contributing factor to gum disease.
Whilst we are talking about hydration, excess alcohol consumption can easily happen at this time of year when a cold beer sounds very refreshing when we are dehydrated. This can lead to further dehydration, causing us to feel drunk even more quickly. As any quick trip to the local Chelmsford A&E on a weekend night will tell you, alcohol consumption is a major contributor to accidents. So please monitor your intake and drink safely.
The smell of smoke from barbecues is common over the summer months in the UK (as is the quick dash indoors when it rains!). Barbecues are a great way to socialise in the great outdoors but the food associated with it can sometimes be a little problematic. Many sauces that are used to coat the ribs and chicken are extremely sticky and full of sugar, causing food residues to stick firmly to the teeth and be very difficult to remove. Paying extra attention to your brushing and particularly your flossing will help to remove some of the sticky sauces and debris from between the teeth.
Most of us get too little sun or even exposure to natural daylight. This is a natural source of vitamin D which studies have shown to be too low in many people living in the UK. Whilst it is important not to spend too much time in the sun, and to use the appropriate protection, getting enough vitamin D is very good for improving our immune system and fighting off diseases like gingivitis. You will still need to brush and floss of course, but making sure that you get enough sunlight will help to boost your resistance to this common dental issue.
Summer is a time for ‘fun in the sun’, and we don’t wish to spoil this for you with too many ‘rules’. It is important though, to remember that too much of the wrong kind of fun can be detrimental to your oral health. We don’t want a fantastic summer to result in you needing dental treatments to restore damage done to your teeth; but where this does unfortunately occur, we are, of course, here to help you.
If you do need to book an appointment for any dental problem during the summer months or indeed at any time, please call Blue Sky Dental in Chelmsford on 01245 211070.