Summer brings back a lot of memories from our childhood. It’s also a time when you and your family will create new memories — memories that can bring you smiles now and when you reminisce about them in years to come.
That is, as long as you feel like smiling.
Summer means a lot of things, but one thing you can count on is hotter weather. More daylight encourages people to be more active in a lot of ways. That could mean days spent playing outside, working on a project, or relaxing in the pool.
And believe it or not, those things can pose risks to your oral health. Our team at Masterpiece Smiles wants you to enjoy those moments, and we want to keep you smiling, too.
We’ve put together some information to help you maintain your smile this summer and for many summers to come.
And while school is out, this is also a great time to schedule a professional dental cleaning for yourself and your family. Call our Tulsa, OK, dentist office at 918-925-9687, or contact us online to request your appointments.
Play Hard … And Protect Your Teeth
Summer used to mean baseball and softball, but today, people play baseball, basketball, soccer, volleyball, and football during the summer months. It’s also a time when many people enjoy skateboarding, mountain biking, and other active recreational activities.
If there is one thing all of these activities have in common, it’s that they are considered high-impact sports by the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. The ADA, AAPD, and other professional dental organizations all recommend wearing athletic mouthguards while participating in these sports.
That also makes now a good time to get a custom-fitted mouthguard at our dentist office in Tulsa. We consider this to be part of our general dentistry.
The AAPD has reported that baseball and basketball are actually the two sports that cause the most dental injuries among young athletes. Baseball is the leading cause of oral injuries among 7- to 12-year-olds, while basketball leads to the most oral injuries among 13- to 17-year-olds.
An athletic mouthguard won’t stop collisions and falls from happening, but they can reduce the impact of those accidents. This is similar to how a seat belt can minimize the impact of an auto accident.
If you or someone in your family participates in any high-impact activity, we encourage you to wear a mouthguard while you do.
Take Water Breaks
Whether you are preparing for the upcoming football season or working in your backyard, you will probably work up a sweat. That hard work can lead to dehydration, which comes along gradually, not all at once. It’s symptoms include:
➧ feeling thirsty
➧ dry mouth
➧ feeling tired
➧ dry skin
Hopefully, you will take action long before your skin feels dry and you feel dizzy. If you are going to be working outdoors or just working up a sweat, then you need to take water breaks as well.
This can prevent the more serious effects of dehydration, but it also can help you maintain your oral health. Dry mouth, one of the early signs of dehydration, is a contributing factor to gum disease and tooth decay. By keeping your body hydrated, you keep producing saliva, which helps to wash away plaque and the bacteria that causes it.
If you are going to sweat, keep some water nearby.
Watch Your Mouth If You Like The Water
We’ve all enjoyed a dip in a swimming pool on a hot summer day. Unfortunately, the chemicals in that water that help prevent germs also can be harmful to our smiles.
Before getting in any pool, you should test its pH level. (You can do this with test strips that can be found in many stores and online retailers.)
According to the Centers for Disease Control, the pH of a swimming pool should be between 7.2 and 7.8. If the pH is 7 or lower, it can weaken the enamel of your teeth, which can increase your risk of tooth decay.
That’s not the only way chlorine can harm your smile, however. Researchers have found that people who spend 6 or more hours per week in a chemically-treated pool have an increased risk of “swimmer’s calculus.”
Deposits of chlorine can build on your teeth over time, and this can cause teeth to turn yellow or brown in color.
This can usually be removed with a professional dental cleaning, which is another reason to visit Masterpiece Smiles this summer. Call 918-925-9687 or use our online appointment form to plan your visit.