The Heat is on – how to look after your dental health in the summer months

I’m gonna say it ‘it’s hot out there team’. Very very hot. And unless we are at the beach or by a pool it can be pretty unbearable all over so please please stay hydrated, sunscreened up, wear a hat and keep to the shade where you can.

The summer heat also has various effects on our dental health causing our saliva to decrease and expose us to cavities, dry mouth and decay…. here are a few things to look out for so you can look after your dental health and overall health in the heat when at home and on holiday;

  1. Dehydration: High temperatures during summer can lead to increased sweating and dehydration. When you become dehydrated, your mouth produces less saliva. Saliva is absolutely crucial for maintaining oral health (it’s kind of magicval) as it helps in washing away food particles, neutralizing acids, and preventing bacterial overgrowth. A dry mouth can increase the risk of tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath.
  2. Cold Drinks and Ice Consumption: To beat the heat, people often consume cold drinks, ice cream, and ice cubes. Chewing on ice can be damaging to teeth, as it can lead to cracks, chips, or even fractures. Cold beverages, especially sugary or acidic ones, can also contribute to tooth decay and tooth sensitivity – ouch.
  3. Oral Hygiene Neglect: The summer season often brings holidays , outdoor activities, and a more relaxed routine. In such instances, people may neglect their oral hygiene practices. Irregular brushing and flossing, combined with an increase in sugary snacks and drinks, can create an ideal environment for bacteria to thrive, leading to tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral health issues.
  4. Increased Consumption of Sugary Foods: Summer is associated with an increase in the consumption of sugary foods and beverages like ice cream, popsicles, sodas, and sweet treats. Bacteria in the mouth feed on sugars and produce acids that attack tooth enamel, leading to cavities and dental erosion. It’s important to practice moderation and maintain a balanced diet even during the summer months. I’m not sure about you but my kids are living it large with ice lollies pretty much every day so I really need to stamp that out.
  5. Oral Health Risks During Outdoor Activities: Summer often involves outdoor activities and sports. Engaging in contact sports without wearing a mouthguard can increase the risk of dental injuries, such as knocked-out teeth, chipped teeth, or lip and gum injuries. It is important to protect your teeth during physical activities by wearing appropriate mouthguards or protective gear. Always wear a helmet on bikes peeps, pretty please. I see so many people who don’t and it’s so dangerous.

So, all in all, during the summer months or when you’re somewhere that’s hot hot hot, it is essential to stay hydrated, practice regular dental care (at least twice and day) wear mouthguards if you’re a thrill seeker and don’t want smashed teeth.

As always,if you can, it is advisable to visit your dentist for routine check-ups and professional cleanings to ensure your oral health is in good condition too x

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