Most people give more attention to their beach body than their smile during the summer, but that’s no reason to ignore the health of your mouth during the warmest season of the year.
With just a bit of care and preparation, you can protect your smile and enjoy all of your summer plans.
Refine Your Brushing and Flossing Techniques
Brushing and flossing aren’t meant to be mindless activities, they’re important and strategic tools that control the plaque and bacteria in our mouth. Using the right techniques helps you work smarter, not harder, during your daily care routine.
Here’s what you need to do to make sure your time brushing really counts:
- Hold brush at a 45 degree angle to the gums
- Gently brush in small, circular motions
- Brush the outer, inner, and biting surfaces of every tooth
- Use the top tip of toothbrush to clean the inside of the front teeth
If you don’t already floss at least once a day, the advice is simple: start now! Summer is the perfect time to become a part of the 16% of Americans that regularly floss their teeth, rather than the majority of adults who don’t. After all, flossing is essential to your overall oral health.
While brushing is a critical and effective way to remove plaque and debris from the visible surfaces of your teeth, only flossing can scrape away the bacteria lurking in the tiny cracks between your teeth. Plaque loves to accumulate in those dark crevices to nurture decay. Only the action of flossing can reach into those tight spaces and remove harmful plaque, bacteria, sugar, and acids.
If you’re not comfortable using conventional string floss, explore different options like interdental brushes, hand-held floss picks, and water flossers. You can choose the flossing device that you find most comfortable and convenient. As long as it removes the plaque sitting between your teeth, it’s a win.
Put Your Best Smile Forward With Teeth Whitening
Teeth whitening is a safe, fast, and simple cosmetic procedure that removes visible stains and discoloration from the surface of your teeth. If you want to improve the appearance of your smile this summer, teeth whitening is the easiest way to make it happen. Just don’t fall for the gimmicks at the drugstore.
DIY and store-bought whitening systems are unpredictable and inefficient. You can only guarantee professional, attractive, long-term results when you turn to your dentist for teeth whitening.
Protect Your Smile With Foods That Nourish Your Mouth
It’s not just your brushing and flossing habits that define your oral health; it’s the food on your plate and the drink in your cup as well! If you spend your summer munching on jelly beans and popsicles, you’ll make your mouth vulnerable to cavities, gum disease, and ongoing dental issues. On the other hand, if you sprinkle your summer season with nutritious snacks, wholesome meals, and plenty of water, your mouth won’t always have to go on the defensive.
The reason for this is pretty straightforward:. If the foods you eat are rich in sugars and carbohydrates, they are immediately converted into acids. Those acids begin attacking the teeth and triggering decay. By swapping processed high-sugar foods with fresh, nutritious options, you can prevent a number of dental problems.
The right diet can even encourage your teeth and gums to remain as healthy as possible. Do your best to avoid carbohydrates and sugars, and instead eat more of the following smile-friendly food choices:
- Vitamin C and D: bell peppers, oranges, broccoli, berries, fish, eggs
- Calcium and phosphorus: milk, cheese, yogurt, almonds, lean red meat
- High water content: carrots, cucumbers, apples, celery
Get Crafty With DIY Hacks
Bring your oral care routine to the next level by adding a few new DIY tricks to your repertoire.
Oil pulling is a great place to start. This ancient practice involves swishing with coconut, sesame, olive, or sunflower oil for 15 minutes, then spitting the oil into the trash. According to Ayurvedic medicine, oil pulling purifies gum tissue by pulling toxins out. The powerful properties of the oils may also inhibit the bacteria responsible for cavities, gingivitis, periodontitis, and bad breath.
You can also experiment with making your own mouthwash. Essential oils like tea tree and peppermint naturally fight bacterial infections and kill oral pathogens while nurturing tissue regeneration. As a result, essential oils offer a safe, natural, and powerful way to counteract gingivitis, reduce inflammation, and prevent the conditions that plaque and tartar love.
Chew Xylitol Gum to Protect Your Smile
If you like to chew gum, xylitol gum is the best choice. This sugar-free sweetener is actually loaded with many therapeutic properties that improve oral health. As a result, chewing xylitol gum a few times a day safely stimulates saliva production and clears away food debris and plaque. Saliva also helps reduce acidity in your mouth, which is a highly effective way to prevent cavities.
Always Choose Water (Or At Least Rinse With It!)
What you drink throughout the day? Try to drink as much water as possible while avoiding high-sugar beverages like soda and juice.
Beyond the numerous health benefits of staying hydrated, water helps to wash food debris and bacteria off your teeth after meals and snacks. It also reduces dry mouth, keeps your breath fresh, and eliminates the sugar hiding in the deep, dark crevices of your mouth. All of this adds up to fewer cavities and a happier smile!
If you want to enjoy some summertime beverages without compromising your oral health, simply swish with water after every few sips of beer or wine.
When in doubt, call your San Diego dentist for help. The team at Cassell Dentistry is here to make sure you get (and keep!) the smile you’ve always wanted. Call our office in Mission Valley now to schedule your first appointment.