Ah summer. It’s a season full of barbecues, baseball games, and fun in the sun. You deserve to take time to relax and unwind this season. However, it’s also important to make sure your smile does not pay the price. The following are some dental hygiene tips that will help keep your teeth and gums healthy as the sunny season rolls on.

Pack Healthy Snacks

When you’re zipping from work, to sports practices, to social events with friends, you may find yourself in need of a snack. If you keep a stash of healthy snacks in the car, you’ll be less likely to stop for something sweet. Here are some tooth-friendly snacks to include in your kit:

  • Roasted, seasoned nuts
  • Parmesan crisps or similar dried cheese snacks
  • Jerky
  • Seasoned rice cakes


Keep some bottled water in your car, too. This way, you’ll be less tempted to stop for a midday soda or sugary coffee drink.

Invest in a Seltzer Maker

Soda can be really refreshing in the summer, but it is incredibly high in sugar and can greatly increase your risk of cavities. Consider investing in a seltzer maker for your kitchen. 

Carbonate your own water. Then, add a little lemon or lime juice, or even some sugar-free drink flavoring. You’ll get the refreshment of a carbonated beverage without the added sugar, and sipping your seltzer throughout the day will help keep your teeth clean.

Keep Up With Your Morning Routine

When life gets busy during the summer, it is tempting to let routines slide. You might get up late and be tempted to skip brushing your teeth as you fly out the door. Try to avoid this backslide in routine, if possible. Set an alarm, and continue to get up at the same time every morning.

You can also make your tooth brushing routine simpler by keeping your toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, and mouthwash in a handy caddy on your bathroom counter. This saves you from having to open multiple cabinets and drawers to access your items, which may make you less apt to skip your oral hygiene routine.

Limit Sports Drink Consumption

Sports drinks tend to be quite high in sugar. If you sip a sports drink over the course of your workout, your teeth will be exposed to sugar for a long time. This can lead to an increased risk of cavities and gum disease.

If you love the taste of sports drinks, look for an electrolyte beverage that contains little to no sugar.

If you do participate in demanding endurance events, like long-distance running or cycling, then a sports drink might be necessary. You can limit tooth decay by always taking a sip of plain water after you sip your sports drink.

Keep Your Mouth Guard Clean

If you play a sport like football or soccer, it is a good idea to wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth and gums. Just make sure you clean your mouth guard after every use so you’re not reintroducing oral bacteria to your mouth each time you put it in.

An easy way to clean your mouth guard is to rinse it with mouthwash after every use. Every few uses, you can use your toothbrush and toothpaste to give it a more thorough scrub. Put your mouth guard right back in its case after cleaning to keep it clean and sanitary.

Replace Your Mouthguard

Mouth guards do not last forever. If you notice that yours is developing little cracks or is missing some chunks of material, it’s time for a new one. Oral bacteria can accumulate in those cracks and contribute to decay once you re-introduce them to your mouth.

If you play sports often, consider keeping a few extra sports mouth guards on-hand so you can switch yours out as needed. They only cost a few dollars at a pharmacy or sporting goods store.

Conclusion

Summer is a season for fun, but you don’t want your fun to have negative consequences on your oral health. If you stick to the tips above, you’ll do a better job of keeping your teeth and mouth healthy this summer. Reach out to your dentist in Maple Ridge for more tips and advice. And don’t forget to schedule a dental cleaning and checkup into your busy summer schedule, too.