Tips for healthy summer smiles

Summer sun brings summer fun.

While warm months are perfect for spending time together, summer vacation can also throw off the usual dental routine, according to MouthHealthy.org, the ADA’s consumer website.

Here are three ways to prevent summertime tooth decay:

Stay on routine

Whether kids are staying up to catch fireflies or a fireworks show, resist the temptation to skip brushing before a late bedtime or let it slide when they sleep in the morning.

No matter how eventful the upcoming months become, make sure to brush twice a day for two minutes with fluoride toothpaste and to floss every day. Simple things like brushing calendars can help everyone stay on track over the summer.

Say no to sugary drinks and snacks

As temperature rises, it’s common for families to sip and snack during sports tournaments, festivals or any community event.

“Watch your family’s intake of lemonade, juice and soda,” said Dr. Mary Hayes, an ADA pediatric dentist. “Consider sugary drinks treats to enjoy once in a while, and not often.”

Instead, offer water (even better if it has fluoride) to beat the heat, or milk to drink with meals.

When it comes to snacks, just snack smarter. Avoid eating snacks when you’re not hungry. Taking a break from snacking allows time for saliva to bathe the teeth and wash away leftover food.

Make your back-to-school dental visit early

Some schools require back-to-school dental visits for certain grades, and these checkups can be a good way to be sure your child’s teeth stayed health. It’s a good idea to make back-to-school dental appointments early in the summer to avoid the August rush and help insure the appointment time is convenient.

© 2018 American Dental Association. All rights reserved. Reproduction or republication is strictly prohibited without the prior written permission from the American Dental Association.

This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.

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Common Conditions During ADULTHOOD

As we get older, dental care for adults is crucial. Here are a few of the conditions to be aware of:

Gum disease – if your home care routine of brushing and flossing has slipped and you have skipped your regular dental cleanings, bacterial plaque and tartar can build up on your teeth. The plaque and tartar, if left untreated, may eventually cause irreparable damage to your jawbone and support structures, and could lead to tooth loss.

Oral cancer – according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, men over the age of 40 have the greatest risk for oral cancer. About approximately 43,000 people will be diagnosed with cancer of the mouth, tongue or throat area, and the ACS estimates that about 7,000 people will die from these cancers. The use of tobacco products and alcohol increases the risk of oral cancer. Most oral cancers are first diagnosed by the dentist during a routine checkup.

Dental fillings break down – fillings have a life expectancy of eight to 10 years. However, they can last 20 years or longer. When the fillings in your mouth start to break down, food and bacteria can get underneath them and can cause decay deep in the tooth.