The summer is a time for vacations and endless fun for kids. People usually time trips to the park, beach, or foreign countries during summer vacations. These trips bring in temporary changes in lifestyle and food habits. Such a change can lead to dental problems if one is not careful. This article talks about the most common dental issues experienced during summer.
Most Common Dental Issues You May Face in Summer
The teeth go through a lot during hot summer months. They experience expanding because of heat, which may cause formation of cracks. This may, in turn, affect the top protective covering on the teeth called dentin.
However, weather is not the only factor that affects the teeth in summer. Experts at the reputed dental clinic, 4 Squares Dentistry in Chennai, report that most dental problems come from improper diet and sudden lifestyle changes. This gives more reason to take extra good care of oral hygiene and health during months of extreme heat.
Here are a few dental problems to look out for this summer:
- As discussed, extremely hot weather in summer can lead to tooth expansion. This can be painful and can often be accompanied by tooth sensitivity. You can soothe the pain and sensitivity with good oral health and plenty of hydration.
- Underlying problems in your mouth are enhanced by hot weather. If there is bacteria in decayed tooth in your mouth, the hot weather will allow them to breed and make the problem worse. This in turn may trigger a toothache.
- Swimming in your backyard pool may be an essential activity to keep you cool in the heat. But remember, chlorine in pool water can react with fluids in your mouth to cause erosion of enamel and discolouration. It may even lead to more severe staining with longer exposure. This is avoidable and treatable.
- Most food and drink enjoyed in summer are loaded with sugar. Sugar and ice make a very tempting combination. If sugar consumption remains unchecked, it can lead to tooth decay, toothaches and gum sores, apart from the impact on overall health. Visit a good dental clinic to tackle this problem.
- Soft drinks are another culprit in causing tooth-related diseases. The dangerous combination of sugars and acids in these drinks can react and lead to issues like cavities and toothache.
- When we're in vacation mode, we often shift away from routine. Important things like brushing teeth and flossing may get lost. This habit needs to be reversed, so that good oral hygiene practices continue to be a part of daily life.
- Dehydration is a common complaint during the hot summer months. It can lead to serious oral problems. When the level of water in the body goes down, the salivary glands cannot produce enough saliva, making the mouth dry. This is not only a cause for discomfort, but it also allows germs to breed in the mouth, leading to bigger diseases. This must be consciously addressed and rectified.
- Many people use extremely cold food to cool themselves off. Some go to the extent of chewing ice on occasion. While this may feel cooling and exciting, you are putting your teeth in danger. Chipping and breaking are common consequences of chewing ice besides cracking or ruining any fillings, veneers, or crowns.
- Other ways of using the teeth with excessive force can also be damaging. It is common practice to open cold beer bottles with your teeth. Snack boxes that need to be opened with special tools should never be cracked open between the teeth.
- Parents will need to monitor kids' activities during the summer. Some rough games may lead to micro-injuries and chipping or breaking of teeth surface. Repeated instances of micro-injuries can lead to a weakening of the tooth structure. Consider mouthguards for maximum protection.
Also Read: How to Determine Dental Emergencies & Prevent Them
Protecting the Teeth in Summer
Summer fun need not be stopped for fear of affecting oral or dental health. You can continue your activities safely by just keeping the following points in mind:
- Visiting a dentist before and after your vacation will give your teeth the care they need.
- Hydration should be of top priority during the summer. Dehydration can lead to issues in more than one system of the body. It can wash away the tiny particles in your mouth after a meal. This should not be overlooked.
- Damaged lips caused by excessive exposure to the sun and dehydration could lead you to neglect oral hygiene. So you must protect your lips from overexposure and drying.
- Use a straw to sip up soft drinks without staining the teeth. This will reduce the effect of the drink on the teeth.
- Clean your mouth properly and brush your teeth after eating sugary foods.
- Never crunch ice with your teeth.
- Try to stick to experiencing summer fun through healthier choices. While the occasional dessert or treat is not harmful, it is not wise to overindulge. A sampling of local fruit and vegetables is a great healthy alternative.
- Carbonated drinks must not be consumed in excess. Their acids could react in your mouth to damage the teeth by wearing away the enamel or giving rise to cavities.
- Stick to your oral health routine every day.
- Make sure that your hands are clean before you brush and floss.
- Keep the pH levels and chlorine levels in the right balance in your pool. Rinse your mouth with fresh water once you leave the pool.
- Sugarless gum chewed after every meal while on vacation can make up for the lack of opportunity for brushing. The action of chewing activates salivary glands and keeps the mouth clean.
Summertime need not leave you stressed about oral hygiene. Sticking to a good oral health routine, hydrating often, and limiting harmful food and drink will keep your mouth and teeth safe. Most importantly, void chewing ice at all costs!