June 2013 articles

Summertime Safety

Summer is a relaxing time, but taking it easy in the sunshine doesn’t mean you can ease up on oral healthcare. When the weather warms up, be extra-sure to:

Slather on SPF
We don’t just mean your arms and legs. To help prevent oral cancer, make sure your lips are protected from the sun’s harmful UV rays1 by using a lip balm that contains sunscreen. SPF 152 or higher is ideal, and don’t forget to reapply!

Tame the treats
Try to make cool-off treats like popsicles and ice cream a once-in-a-while habit, not a daily occurrence. Eat sweet treats with meals.3 Chewing other food stimulates saliva glands, and extra saliva helps wash sticky food debris from teeth.3

Drink up
Stay hydrated the right way. Water and milk are your best bets for keeping cool and keeping your teeth healthy. Sports drinks and sodas contain acids that erode tooth enamel,4and the caffeine in many soft drinks has been linked to dry mouth.5 If dry mouth is a problem, try to avoid summer sangria and other seemingly refreshing alcoholic beverages, as alcohol can also cause dry mouth.5

Keep teeth safe during sports
If there’s a chance your teeth could be injured in a summer sport, wear a mouthguard. Mouthguards not only protect your teeth, but also reduce the risk for jaw fractures and lacerated, bruised lips and cheeks.6 Summer activities that should involve a mouthguard include volleyball, baseball, water polo, waterskiing, surfing, and bicycling.6

1 http://oralhealth.deltadental.com/Search/22,21484
2 http://www.melanomafoundation.org/prevention/facts.htm
3 http://oralhealth.deltadental.com/Search/22,Delta84
4 http://oralhealth.deltadental.com/Search/22,20818
5 http://oralhealth.deltadental.com/Search/22,Delta13
6 http://oralhealth.deltadental.com/Search/22,DD6


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