Everyone looks forward to the summer and taking advantage of the season’s benefits. Things seem to be in abundance, from endless sunny days to longer happy hours and vacations. Whatever you have in store, don’t forget the importance of keeping up with your dental health. Balance your oral hygiene with your social life to make the most out of the next few months.

Think Twice About Guilty Pleasures

We all love a good backyard barbeque, but try to avoid filling your plate with starchy potato chips. Salty snacks can easily get stuck in your teeth and cause a buildup of bacteria, a catalyst of tooth decay. Overloading on carbs (like that tasty potato bread) can also be harmful, even if you’re brushing every day. Try eating these “guilty pleasures” in moderation – add some fruit and vegetables to your meal to limit the negative side effects. You should also schedule regular cleanings to remove any bad bacteria.

Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

There is a good chance you’ll be surrounded by acidic, sugary drinks on more than one occasion. Everyone indulges once in a while, but the best way to avoid overdoing it is by keeping water with you at all times. Make sure you are staying hydrated and limiting the amount of coffee, soda, cocktails, or energy drinks you’re consuming. Even flavored beverages like coconut water can be damaging, so don’t let yourself get fooled by the name on a label!

Recognize and Break Bad Habits

Many of our bad habits are like second nature – we don’t even realize we’re doing them most of the time. From nail biting during the day to teeth grinding at night, these unhealthy oral fixations can irritate your teeth, gums, and jawbone. Recognizing these patterns and removing them from your routine will strengthen your dental health and save you from pain and discomfort.

Watch What You Chew

As a child it is normal to chew on things – clothes, bottle caps, erasers, and whatever else may come into sight. Sometimes our stress, anxiety, or even conditions like anemia cause us to repeat this adverse behavior as adults. Chewing on straws and ice throughout the summer might seem harmless, but it can lead the tooth decay over time as your enamel wears down.

It is Best Not to Linger…

Be careful of seed-heavy summer foods that can get lodged in between your teeth. Certain fruits, grains, and bread types can trigger an unwanted shift in your dental health if the “leftovers” linger too long. Be mindful of this when you’re enjoying things like fresh watermelon or hamburger buns at your next summer outing. These abrasive foods can put your teeth at risk if they get stuck and left untreated. You should also be cautious of any hard objects you use to remove them, like tooth picks, that can pierce your gums and lead to inflammation.

You don’t have to sacrifice any fun to protect your smile this summer. Stay aware of your daily habits and think twice before indulging in too many carbs or sweets. Work hard, play hard, but don’t snack too hard! Your mouth will thank you, and when the season comes to an end, you’ll feel great knowing you maintained a healthy lifestyle. If you’re planning to leave town for a while, don’t forget to schedule a dental appointment beforehand!