Summertime is one of the best times of year to hit the road or to fly across the globe for some faraway adventure. Whether your summer plans include a trip to see Grandma and Grandpa or to observe the moon and stars from a dimly lit campground, it goes without saying that time away from the normal routine can feel both exhilarating and chaotic. Here, we outline a few simple things that you can do to protect your teeth and gums while making the most of the summertime fun.
- Eat well. For many of us, a break from the normal daily routine can equate to mindless snacking and poor food choices. Even if your eating habits change only temporarily, there can be lasting effects from excessive amounts of sugar, alcohol, or processed foods. Maintain your smile by avoiding the temptation to graze all day long. Craving something sweet? Grab an apple, pear, or a bowl of strawberries! These foods have been noted for their teeth-cleaning and whitening capabilities.
- Drink water. Staying hydrated is especially important during the hot summer months. Sipping on water throughout the day offers more benefits than pounding a glass every so often. This is because the acidity of the oral environment increases exponentially throughout the day. The more often you drink water, the less acidic your mouth should be. Also, drinking water after snacking or drinking any non-water beverage reduces sugar build-up and fights plaque.
- Maintain your toothbrush! Toothbrushes can grow bacteria if they are not kept in a dry environment. Sometimes, those travel toothbrush holders that are supposed to protect your oral hygiene tool can work against the objective at hand.
- Bring along travel-sized mouthwash and floss. On those long days in the car or at the airport, the mouth can feel, well, dirty. Chewing gum and mints are only minimally effective at freshening up the mouth on such days. A swish of mouthwash and a brief flossing session can do wonders for “dirty mouth.”
- Remember to stop and smell the roses. The whole point of vacation is to sit back and relax, and yet many of us find ourselves tenser than ever as we try to get away from the monotony of daily living for a bit. Long lines, hot sun, or cranky children aside, it is important that you remain calm and relaxed during vacation. Tension can lead to tooth grinding and clenching, which could damage teeth, restorations, and the joints of the jaw.
Lerner & Lemongello offers friendly care to patients from Palm Beach Gardens, as well as those who are just passing through. Call (561) 627-9000 to schedule your visit.