The lazy days of summer are here along with all of the fun activities (swimming, cookouts, beach trips) that families engage in during the summer months. There are a few things to keep in mind that will allow you to have a fun summer and protect your smile at the same time.
The chemicals commonly found in swimming pools can weaken our teeth and cause discoloration of the enamel. There are many pools that are still maintained with chlorine as opposed to salt. Chlorine and other pool chemicals give the water a higher pH which can soften the enamel and also cause brown stains on the teeth. So remember to brush your teeth after swimming and see your dentist regularly for cleanings and fluoride treatments.
Many beverages that we consume during the summer, such as soda, lemonade, sports drinks, beer, wine, and tea contain large amounts of sugar. Some of these drinks, such as lemonade, provide a double whammy as they have citric acid and sugar. It helps to either drink water after having one of these beverages or to rinse with water to counter the negative effects of the sugar and acid and to prevent tooth decay.
While most people remember to apply sunscreen to exposed skin while at the beach, playing sports, sailing or during other periods of prolonged sun exposure, many forget to protect their lips. Yet the lips are just as likely to burn as other part of the body. It is important to use a lip balm or gloss with a broad spectrum SPF of 15 or higher to decrease the risk of skin cancer.