Heightened temperatures mean we need a heightened awareness of sun safety. We all know about the importance of protecting our skin from the sun, but have you ever thought about what those harmful UV rays can do to your oral health? Here are a few tips to keep those pearly whites at their best all summer long.
Drink up! Stay Hydrated
Saliva is an important defense against tooth decay and bad breath. When we spend a lot of time outside in hot weather, our bodies are more susceptible to dehydration, which will, in turn, deplete your saliva supply. Drinking water is important for your overall physical health and well-being, but next time, remember that keeping hydrated will also help protect your teeth and gums. Always drink at least 6-8 glasses of water every day.
Put Extra Care to Your Lips
Many of us are already careful to wear sunscreen when we’re going to be outside in the sun for extended periods of time. Although you can’t burn your teeth, it’s important not to forget about your lips! The skin on your lips is very sensitive and many dentists have detected skin cancer on the lips during routine checkups for patients who had no idea there was something wrong. The best way to keep your lips protected is by regularly applying a chapstick or lip balm with an SPF of 30 or above
Be Aware of Chlorine
Taking a dip in the pool on a hot day is fun and refreshing, but did you know that the chemicals in chlorine weaken your tooth enamel? Nobody is asking you to skip the swim but make a point to brush your teeth when your back inside to wash away some of that chemical damage.
Consider a Mouth Guard
The summer months lend to a lot of fun outdoor activities. It’s great to be active, but some outdoor sports can be a bit risky. You may want to consider a mouthguard. There are lots of low-cost options available and they will protect your teeth from the chips, knockouts, and damage caused by high impact.
It’s a great time of year to get outside and enjoy the sun. When preparing for some time outdoors keep these tips in mind to help keep your mouth healthy and your smile bright. Please call our office 312-943-6444 or schedule an appointment if we can assist you in making safe summer decisions.