It’s the month of July, which means everyone is on summer break and out of school until fall comes! Summer vacation is the perfect time of year to kick back, relax, take a vacation or trip, and sometimes forget about the importance of your dental health. While you might be on summer vacation, your teeth certainly won’t be on vacation! Read on to learn travel tips for taking care of your teeth and mouth during the summer months.
Summer Break Tips
Stick to a Routine: Brushing your teeth twice daily and keeping up with flossing is just as crucial during the summer months. With sleeping in, vacations, summer camps, pool days, and lots of days spent at the park, you’ll definitely have to remind your child a time or two to brush their teeth. It’s especially important to brush during these summer months since everyone likes to indulge in sugary snacks or treats in the summer like popsicles, ice cream, or sugary fruit juices to stay cool!
Avoid Soda: The amount of sugar in a single can of soda will surprise you! Frequently drinking soda gives your mouth and teeth a sugary rinse that can cause plaque build up. The carbonation from soda also weakens the enamel of the teeth over time, which can cause teeth to lose their sparkling white color and may allow them to be more susceptible to decay. Avoid soda temptation this summer by increasing your water intake and staying hydrated! And make sure that if you choose to take your beverage with ice ,that you do not chew on the ice cubes! Chewing on ice cubes is very rough on the teeth. The coldness from ice cubes and their hard structure can cause teeth to chip or develop small cracks on their surfaces over time.
Try Tea: Have you heard that tea is good for teeth? Tea contains compounds that help suppress bacteria. These compounds can help reduce tooth decay and gum diseases. Just make sure that you don’t add sugar to your tea because then it’s similar to drinking soda!
Choose Water: Choose water when you find yourself thirsty during hot ,sunny days. Staying hydrated with water will help wash away bacteria on the teeth! Tap water is especially good for your teeth because it contains natural fluoride that helps to strengthen your teeth’s enamel. Water is better for your teeth and overall health than picking up a juice box, a can of soda, or a frozen treat.
Schedule Your Back-to-School Checkup: Scheduling your back-to-school checkup early ensures that you have an appointment date and time you need before school starts back in the fall! Not to mention that the State of IL requires Dental Examination School Forms for some daycares, Kindergarteners, 6th graders, 8th graders, high schoolers registering for school. Get your appointment in soon so the school year starts with a clean bill of health!
Keep Supplies Handy: Here’s a vacation hack for you! Going on a longroad trip? Keep toothpaste and a clean toothbrush in the glove department of your car so you can brush your teeth during your trip! That way you’ll always have it on hand. Alternatively, you can keep a clean travel toothbrush and toothpaste inside your suitcase. That way, you won’t forget to pack your oral hygiene essentials during long trips!
Skip the Travel Cases: Avoid using travel cases for your toothbrush at all costs. Although it may seem like a good idea to keep your toothbrush’s bristles in a case away from other surfaces, you are actually trapping in potential bacteria. Damp bristles in a wet, dark, and enclosed environment can help spread bacteria and cause your toothbrush to have a stinky smell. Yuck!
Choose a Carry On: Frequent flyer? Pack your toothbrush and toothpaste in your carry-on bag! By storing your oral hygiene tools in your carry-on bag, you have access to brushing your teeth during long flights and any layovers you might encounter. And if your luggage gets lost or delayed, you won’t have to rush out to buy a new toothbrush and toothpaste during the other chaos of traveling!
Visit the Dentist Before Your Departure: Visiting the dentist before your trip can benefit your teeth, hygiene and your vacation itinerary! Getting a checkup prior to travel can help prevent any unforeseen dental emergencies while on the road or on vacation, and it will ensure you don’t have any unforeseen dental visits while out of town.