Five tips to keep teeth healthy this summer
Summer is great for slowing down and relaxing with friends and family, but Delta Dental of Illinois reminds Illinoisans that it isn't the time to take a break from good oral health habits.
“Daily routines usually become more relaxed during the summer months, but keeping up on healthy habits is still important,” said Katina Spadoni, DDS, dental director for Delta Dental of Illinois. “Along with continuing to visit the dentist regularly, there are simple ways to have good oral health while still indulging in summertime treats.”
Delta Dental of Illinois offers the following tips to keep your family's teeth healthy this summer.
- Limit sweet drinks. As the mercury rises, it's tempting to sip on cold, sweet drinks to stay cool. Soda, juice, lemonade and sports drinks contain high concentrations of sugar and tend to be acidic, which can lead to tooth decay and enamel erosion. Limit the number of sweet beverages and choose water whenever possible.
- Look for low-sugar options. Like drinks, a lot of summer treats are loaded with sugar. Popsicles, cotton candy, funnel cakes, and even barbeque sauce, are sugary foods that can contribute to cavities. Look for low-sugar or sugar-free options for your summertime favorites and limit full-sugar foods.
- Pack healthy snacks. A lot of summer activities involve time away from home. For family outings, pack a cooler or bag of snacks, but be selective. Choose tooth-friendly foods like baby carrots, celery and apples or healthy snacks like string cheese, yogurt, whole grain crackers or plain nuts.
- Establish a summer routine. While summer schedules are typically a lot more flexible than usual, it's important to still have a daily routine. Add tooth brushing and flossing to a list of simple tasks, like making the bed and putting away laundry. Have a similar plan as part of a nighttime routine.
- Rinse with water. Families are on the go a lot more during summer, making it difficult to stick to a regular oral health routine. When it is hard to brush and floss after meals and snacks, have water on hand to drink after eating. Although not as beneficial as brushing, water can help rinse away sugars until it's possible to brush.
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