When many people think of their health during the summer, they think of losing weight, avoiding serious sunburns, and staying hydrated and in the shade on hot days. But there’s another aspect of health that you shouldn’t ignore over the summer: your oral health.

It’s common for people’s habits to change over the summer, and those changes are often to the detriment of their oral health. They may change their dietary habits by eating different foods and drinking different beverages, and they may become less attentive to their teeth and gums—especially on vacation.

Preventive care is important all year long, but especially so during a time when many people become a little too relaxed about their teeth and gums. Keep these tips in mind over the summer to protect your oral health.

Hydrate with Water or Sugar-Free Beverages
It’s tempting to reach for a sugar-laden sports drink when you’re parched on a hot summer day. And while these sports drinks may claim to be healthy due to the presence of electrolytes, the sugar they contain means unnecessary calories and potential damage to your teeth.

Don’t Chew Ice
Ice makes many drinks better, especially during the summer, but it should stay in your cup or glass. Whether it’s crushed or cubed, resist the temptation to chew it. Chewing ice can severely damage your teeth and even put them at risk of cracking or breaking.

Put Sunscreen on Your Lips
When people think of places where they forget to put sunscreen, they might think of their ears, their necks, or the tops of their feet. But did you know that your lips can get sunburned, too? Your lips are vulnerable to the sun’s rays just like the rest of your body, so be sure to protect them when you’re outside.

Limit Sugary Summer Treats
Many summer-centric foods are filled with sugar. Ice cream, smoothies, milkshakes, popsicles, pies, and even fruit salads all contain plenty of sugar that can wreak havoc on your teeth. Limit how much you and your family eat these treats, as even just a few days of going overboard can result in a cavity.

Brush Twice Daily—Even on Vacation
Summertime can throw off many people’s daily routines. The kids are out of school and vacation season is in full swing. That means it’s easy to forgo brushing at night or after sugar-heavy treats and meals. Recommit to your oral health during the summer and don’t slip when your daily routine changes.

Be Prepared for Dental Emergencies
Whether they’re playing at home, at a friend’s house, in a sports league, or at camp, there’s a good chance your child will suffer an injury over the summer. And for many kids, those injuries involve their teeth. Knowing how to handle dental emergencies, including numbers to call, can help save your child’s smile.

Book a Dental Cleaning if You’re Scheduled for One
Because many people are busy over the summer, they may neglect to book a trip to the dentist. Suddenly, being one month overdue for an appointment turns into two months overdue, two months turns into three months, and the next thing they know it has been years since they’ve been to the dentist. Stay on track with your appointments.

Let Us Protect Your Smile This Summer

At Willow Chase Dentistry, we know that healthy smiles must be protected all year long. However, summer carries unique challenges for keeping your teeth and gums in tiptop shape. Contact us today to request a dental appointment for a cleaning and preventive care.