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  • Writer's pictureMark Roberts

Summer Smiles

It's now Summertime with the Memorial Day holiday now past. Americans are likely to begin their annual vacations and days spent languishing around the backyard or the pool. Sure to happen are trips to see family or friends, spending time going to amusement parks, and many more fun adventures over the next three months. School is out for the Summer, and families are going to be looking for fun things to do. Whether you just want to hibernate through the hot season or you look forward to it all year, it is definitely a time when the usual rules are relaxed.

That’s really great, and you should squeeze every bit of enjoyment that Summer has to offer. However, there are some things that you still should do even in the laziest months of the year to keep your teeth and gums healthy. Keeping a beautiful smile isn't that hard, but you do need to make sure that you spend some time during the Summer to keep your oral health in good shape. Here are some tips for good oral hygiene:

  1. Get treatment for sensitive teeth and gums. There are many reasons why they react to hot or cold foods and drinks, but it can indicate that your dental enamel is damaged, or that you may have plaque buildup in your mouth, tooth decay or gum disease. There are a number of treatments your dentist can offer that may reduce tooth sensitivity. You may need a professional cleaning; dental plaque is acidic and that increases tooth sensitivity. Removing the plaque reduces inflammation and allows for the gum tissues to heal. They may be sensitive for a few days after treatment.

  2. Don't chew ice. That can cause cracked and chipped teeth, damage to tooth enamel, problems with existing dental work such as fillings and crowns, and sore jaw muscles. You may also find your teeth become extremely sensitive to hot and cold drinks and foods, and are more prone to cavities.

  3. Brush your teeth and floss every day. Avoiding this daily routine is a good way to have bad breath, tooth decay, inflamed gums, and poor oral health. Just because you're in the lazy, hazy days of Summer doesn't mean you should relax your dental hygiene.

  4. Watch your diet. Summertime has the tastiest treats. Junk food is running rampant. You and your child’s teeth are unfortunately going to end up becoming the victims. Drink water instead of sugary drinks, and keep a supply of fresh fruits and veggies to snack on during the day which helps to keep a mouth healthy. Protein is also excellent at getting rid of the some of the acids in your mouth. When you think about your diet, keeping yourself healthy all comes down to balance. You don’t want to deprive yourself (or your family) of the various delights only Summer offers. Use some moderation.

  5. Schedule a dental checkup. Since school is out, your kids especially have the time to go see your family dentist for an annual checkup. Plus, by taking time off from work you could afford to go yourself just to make sure your smile is staying in good shape. During the Summer is a good time to see your dentist when life is at a slightly more relaxed pace. Once Fall hits, your time flies by way too fast.

  6. Have an emergency dental plan. If you are traveling on vacation, find out what your insurance covers, including emergency procedures like broken or chipped teeth from an accident. Make sure you have a plan in place to deal with any dental emergencies. If your dentist is out of town during the Summer, ask about their office Summer schedule, and who to contact if you need emergency care.

Some state school districts require kids to get a dental screening every three years, others don’t stipulate how often a checkup is needed. Even if your state doesn’t require a checkup, you should still take your child to the dentist regularly. An estimated 51 million school hours per year are lost because of dental-related illness. Dental problems can make it harder for kids to learn, make friends, feel confident, and decrease their chances for success later in life.

When school classes are in session, it can be a bit hectic planning appointments between work, classes, sports, homework, dance and all those extra activities that keep you busy and running around. Summer usually brings a since of calm to the school activity storm. The added benefit to slowing down is that parents' schedules also become less hectic, allowing more freedom in adding time to see your dentist.

You may be tempted to wait until right before school starts, but the best time to get the everyone into the dentist for a checkup is now. Don’t wait until your dentist’s schedule starts filling up with pre-school checkup appointments at the end of Summer. If some treatment is needed, it’s best to get it done now rather than right before school reopens. Plus, you get to relax and enjoy those last days of vacation rather than running to the dentist for an appointment.

Summer sun brings summer fun. While warm months are perfect for spending time together, summer vacation can also throw off your usual dental routine. No matter how eventful the upcoming months become, try to maintain a regular dental care schedule. It’s easy to get distracted by all the fun adventures and escapades that occur during the Summertime, but don’t get so distracted that you neglect your oral health! These tips can help you protect your smile and keep it beautiful so you’re able to fully enjoy yourself.

If you are one of the 74 million Americans who don't have a dental plan, I can help. As a licensed insurance agent, I have many affordable options for you and your family. More information is available about dental insurance companies and plan designs on this website at . Let's have a conversation very soon about finding a solution to help you keep a smile that lasts all Summer and longer.

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