man and woman having fun with ice cream

Can Summer Fun Harm Your Teeth?

It’s summertime in Florida. When the afternoon storms subside, we take full advantage of living in the Sunshine State. We enjoy backyard barbecues, bike rides with the family, trips to our many amusement parks, and other activities that provide the opportunity to create memories with our friends and loved ones. This is all fantastic … unless you’re engaging in summer activities that are harming your teeth. What does a season have to do with your dental health?

It may have started when we were kids looking forward to a long, well-deserved summer break, but adults get just as excited about summer as the little ones do. Even as grown-ups with jobs and responsibilities, we tend to live with fewer rules during the summer. Some of these activities can ultimately hurt our smiles. Here are just a few examples:

  • Unhealthy snacking — During the summer, we indulge in things we normally wouldn’t. We eat ice cream to stay cool, buy sugary cereals, and munch our way through bowls of chips when we’re socializing with the neighbors. The sugars and starches on these junk foods sit on our teeth and form plaque, which leads to tooth decay. The best plan is to keep your fridge and pantry stocked with fresh fruits and veggies in order to avoid binging on unhealthy snacks. If that’s simply not possible, be sure to brush your teeth soon after you finish eating to minimize the amount of time the sugars sit on your teeth.
  • Skipping on the bedtime routine — When you or your kids have been out in the hot sun all day, you’re tired. When you’re summertime tired, it’s easy to bypass face washing, teeth brushing, and flossing in favor of a few extra minutes of sack time. Missing even a few days of a well-established routine can put you or your child back to square one. When school resumes in August, you’ll be having the same arguments as always as soon as it’s time for bed. Do yourself a favor and resist all temptation to skip out on your dental health regimen.
  • Engaging in sports without a mouthguard — You know what won’t look good in your family vacation photos? A chipped tooth. If you engage in any rigorous activity during the summer, particularly an activity that involves contact, be sure to wear a mouthguard to protect your smile. Even a simple game of basketball with your kids can result in a fall that could not only harm your teeth, but cause great pain, as well.

The folks at the St. Petersburg Dental Center are here for you no matter what the season. If you happen to experience a summer-related dental emergency, remember that, with two offices and extended hours, we can help. In the meantime, enjoy your summer!