July 3, 2020
This summer, everyone’s primary concern is protecting themselves from COVID-19. However, there’s another issue that your dentist in Allentown wants you to think about: protecting your smile. Most people don’t realize that many common summertime activities have the power to damage teeth. If the proper precautions aren’t taken, serious dental issues can develop. In this article, you’ll learn about the behaviors that can harm your smile and what you can do to protect it while still having fun.
1. Chewing Ice
The Problem: Whether you’re lounging on the couch during a hot afternoon or keeping flames under control on the grill during a sweltering evening, chewing ice is a tempting way to stay cool. However, you should avoid doing so. The force required to break ice cubes can cause small fractures in the exterior surfaces of your teeth. Done repeatedly, it can create visible chips and potentially cause a tooth to crack open. Furthermore, ice can break into sharp pieces and cause painful cuts on your gums.
The Solution: The next time you’re thinking about chewing ice, reach for a glass of cold water instead. Not only will it keep you cool, but it will help remove food particles and harmful bacteria from your mouth. You should also try to drink tap water when possible because many cities add fluoride to it. This mineral has the power to strengthen the enamel on your teeth, protecting them from further damage.
2. Playing Socially Distant Sports
The Problem: This summer, sports that don’t require physical contact are going to be more popular than ever thanks to social distancing requirements. Unfortunately, just because you’re not running into anyone doesn’t mean that you don’t need to worry about protecting your teeth. In the case of solo activities like cycling and skateboarding, a helmet won’t keep you safe from cracking a tooth in the event you fall to the ground. In sports like tennis and volleyball, an impact to your mouth from a ball can break a tooth.
The Solution: When playing sports, it’s a good idea to wear a mouthguard. This device is a hard plastic tray that fits around your teeth and shields them from the force of impacts. You can find generic ones at your local pharmacy or online. However, the best level of protection comes from a custom mouthguard. You can speak to your dentist in Allentown about having one made for you at your next appointment.
3. Drinking Sports Beverages
The Problem: After spending a day under the hot sun, drinking a sports drink can feel incredibly refreshing. While many kinds do have the power to replenish valuable electrolytes, they commonly contain high levels of sugars and acids that have the power to damage the enamel on your teeth. The dyes used in them also have the power to create stains over time.
The Solution: Try reaching for coconut water the next time you feel the need for a sports drink. It has the ability to replenish electrolyte levels in your body without a lot of sugar.
Don’t let your summer be ruined by an injured tooth. In addition to regular preventive care visits, the tips in this article will keep your smile pristine and healthy while you enjoy the next few months.
About the Author
Dr. Bradford Young has been caring for the dental needs of Allentown families for over 10 years. As an athlete, he understands how vulnerable to injury teeth can become during the summer months. He takes the time to get to know patients’ lifestyles so he can help them find ways to protect their smiles before problems arise. If you’re concerned about the safety of your teeth, you can contact him for an appointment through his website or at 610-439-1363.
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