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It’s finally summertime and the last thing you want — when you’re on vacation or kicking back at the beach — is to have to deal with a toothache or other annoying dental problem. If you weren’t aware, the change of seasons and warm weather can actually lead to problems with your teeth, and so it’s important to know what to look out for so that you can avoid a trip to the dentist …even though our McAllen dentists would love to see you at WhiteWing Dental!

With a little caution and preventative maintenance, you can keep your pearly whites shining just like the weather. Here are a few tips to keep your teeth healthy during the summer season.

Don’t Let Summer Hurt Your Smile: Tips for Protecting Your Teeth

1. Drink lots of water and avoid dehydration.

This is good advice in general to avoid dizziness or other heat-related issues, but staying hydrated is also good for your teeth. When your mouth gets dry it creates a breeding ground for bacteria and acidic waste, especially when you’ve been drinking sugary sodas and eating sticky foods that get stuck between your teeth.

By drinking plenty of water you will keep your system hydrated and help your mouth to be able to produce plenty of saliva that can help wash away sugars and bacteria. Saliva even actively helps repair and remineralize weak tooth enamel.

2. Don’t chew ice…really, don’t do it!

In other parts of the country, children have to be scolded by their mothers during winter not to get their tongues frozen by licking metal poles. Here in McAllen, the equivalent is chewing ice during the summer months.

Your teeth are very sensitive and the frozen ice can chip away tooth enamel and even crack or dislodge a tooth. Just put the ice into a cup of water and keep yourself hydrated rather than chewing it. Your teeth — and your mother — will thank you!

3. Don’t go overboard with sugary foods.

It’s okay to sip on a soda or enjoy some ice cream during the hot summer weather, just be careful not to overdo it – and always brush after a sugary treat. Sugar can exacerbate tooth sensitivities and before you know it, you have a toothache or gum sores.

If you do get a toothache, visit our McAllen dentists as soon as possible to keep your summer fun on track. It’s best to stay ahead of the problem by eating sugary foods (like sodas and snacks) in moderation and keeping up with your brushing and flossing habits.

4. Avoid micro injuries during physical activities.

You’ve been waiting all winter to play beach volleyball or do a half flip off the diving board. Just be careful not to injure your teeth! Micro injuries such as chips and cracks can happen unexpectedly and you may not even notice them at first. Wear a mouthguard during physical activities, and when an accident does happen, give us a call as soon as possible to make sure the pain is not masking deeper tooth damage.

Have fun and keep your teeth safe this summer.

Taking care of your teeth during the summer heat is easy to do with a little planning and good dental health habits. Just keep yourself hydrated, limit sugary foods, brush and floss regularly, wear a mouthguard during physical activities and whatever you do, don’t chew ice!

Enjoy the summer weather and make sure to schedule your regular cleaning here at WhiteWing Dental!

Contact us at (956) 686-5577 to schedule an oral examination and cleaning with our best dentists in McAllen today.