Keep up with your dental cleanings all year long.
You already know you need to protect your skin in the summer, but teeth also require extra attention when the seasons change. From chlorine damage to sweet seasonal food, summer staples and activities can be tough on teeth.
Foods and Drinks to Avoid This Summer
• Sports Drinks
When the mercury rises, many people get outdoors and get active. Because warmer weather leaves quite the thirst to quench, exercisers often reach for sports drinks. The problem? Many of those drinks contain three times the tooth-eroding citric acid of soda, not to mention the excessive sugar found in non-diet versions. Your best bet is to stick to water or milk and, at the very least, switch to zero-calorie sports drinks.
• Summer Sangria
The fruity mixture is delicious and refreshing, but the red wine base can leave teeth looking less than sparkling. To combat stains, wipe teeth with a tissue, swirl water or seltzer between glasses, or snack on veggies that serve as natural tooth scrubs (such as cauliflower). The fruity additions to many sangria recipes also add sugar and acids to the mix, so swirling with water after drinking is also a good way to rinse these substances off your teeth until your next brushing.
• Ice Pops
Most are packed with sugar but not nutrition. The occasional icy pop won’t hurt, but do your teeth a favor and try some frozen treats without added sugars and artificial dyes. Frozen grapes are tasty, or make “ice cream” by freezing a banana and throwing it into a food processor. If you do indulge in a brightly colored pop, following up with a glass of water can help rinse away the dye and sugars until you can brush again.
The same swimming pool chemical that can make eyes burn and turn hair green also contains high amounts of acid that can erode teeth over time. For daily swims consider buying a mouth guard to limit the amount of chlorine that comes into contact with your teeth, and reduce the side effects of chlorine.