The summer gets us outside and moving in San Antonio. Before you grab your hat, shades and sunblock to enjoy the sun and fun, keep in mind that your teeth also need protection during the summer. Here are four tips to make sure your smile stays beautiful as you head outside.
In South Texas, the sun isn’t simply shining. It’s burning hot! One of the ways you may try to find relief from the heat is by the pool. But make sure to keep the water from getting into your mouth. The high levels of chlorine in the pool water may cause enamel erosion. In 2010, New York University’s College of Dentistry found that a man who swam 90-minutes for five months, had increased teeth sensitivity. The patient also reported dark stains on his teeth and enamel loss during that time.
Another study looked at the teeth of junior competitive swimmers and a group of recreational swimmers. Researchers found dental erosion in more than 26% of the competitive swimmers and 10% of the recreational swimmers.
The summer may get you excited about cooling off with the help of a fruity drink. Beware: these beverages in high amounts can rot your teeth. The harmful bacteria feeds off the sugar in these drinks and can result in tooth decay. The American Dental Association says in reality, the drinks touted as “healthy” are not good for your teeth. The ADA says one glass of apple juice contains a comparable amount of sugar to a glass of soda. If you want a sweetened beverage, opt for sparkling water, diluted juice or unsweetened tea.
“Drinking a lot of water not only helps your body stay hydrated but helps wash away food particles in your teeth. Saliva is is a great defense against tooth decay,” said Dr. Alejandro Cavazos, Advanced Smile Care.
Delicious fruits are in season during the summer. You may be making a trip to Fredericksburg to grab juicy, locally-grown peaches or other savory fruits. While these pit fruits are loaded with vitamin C, they also contain acids which can lead to enamel erosion. If there is enough damage, the erosion can cause your teeth to stain. Be careful of summer treats such as popsicles, too. The artificial ingredients and sugar opens the door for cavities.
“We are not telling you to flat out avoid food and drinks with high sugar, but we do advise that you consume your sweets in moderation,” said Dr. Cavazos. “If you are unable to brush your teeth after the sugar, at least be sure to rinse out your mouth with water to help wash away the bacteria which is harmful to your teeth.”
The warm weather makes an ideal atmosphere to get out on the basketball court to shoot hoops or to swing that baseball bat. As fun as it may be, playing a contact sport can be dangerous for your teeth. Advanced Smile Care can create a custom-fitted mouth guard which molds to the contours of your teeth and mouth. The cost is relatively inexpensive considering that the device will reduce the risk of injury to your mouth. These plastic mouth guard covers your upper teeth, cheek lining and tongue. The ADA teamed up with the American National Standards Institute created standards for mouth protectors and other materials. We can get you fitted for a sports mouthguard with a quick visits to our office.
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