As summer approaches, most of us start worrying about being in the best possible physical condition. However, once we are there we tend to relax and neglect all that we had advanced in recent months. And this also happens with oral health.
Long, warm days make us spend more time away from home and eat out more often in bars and restaurants, go out for a drink with friends and family, etc. In addition to this, we must add the holidays, relaxation time in which we neglect especially routines and schedules.
That is why summer is the time par excellence to neglect our oral health , so we must warn our patients so that the months that follow do not suffer the consequences of these bad habits.
Why should our patients come more to the clinic?
- More free time availability, in both children and adults. This causes them to be encouraged to start or restart treatments that were left pending months ago. In addition, the holidays in the youngest children makes them able to attend the consultation with greater availability than the rest of the year with classes and extracurricular activities.
- Bacterial plaque increase and caries. Spending time away from home, accompanied by poor brushing or none at all, can produce symptoms in the mouth of our patients as annoying as bleeding and inflammation of the gums.
- Problems in the gums. The remainders of food that are not eliminated end up accumulating in the base of the teeth forming tartar and dental plaque, which will derive in common illnesses of this season as it is the gingivitis or a periodontal disease.
- Appearance of halitosis. Poor hygiene combined with poor hydration can dry out the mouth and cause a bad smell. Undoubtedly, one of the most annoying symptoms among our patients.
- Dental sensitivity. Symptom par excellence at this time due to the abuse of cold drinks and ice cream.
What can we recommend to our patients?
Ideally, our patients should follow a proper dental hygiene routine; however, during these months it can be a little difficult, so here are some of the tips you can offer:
- Avoid excessive exposure to treated water. The abuse of chlorinated water, such as swimming pools, can lead to staining of teeth. In addition, this can lead to the pathology known as "swimmer's tartar" that causes gingivitis or periodontitis.
- Protect yourself adequately from summer activities. It is possible that some of your patients practice or go swimming or diving during the summer, so it is necessary to warn of possible consequences, ailments and how to prevent them.
- Correct brushing after each meal. If this is not possible, recommend rinsing your mouth several times or chewing gum without sugar or apple, trying to eliminate all traces of sugar on your teeth. However, we must make it very clear that chewing gum is no substitute for toothbrushing.
- Consumption of foods recommended for teeth. There are foods such as apples and grapes that can help take care of our teeth naturally. In addition, we can protect ourselves from dental hypersensitivity with calcium-rich foods such as dairy, eggs, fish, chicken and beef; provide vitamin C and A and fluoride for our teeth. with foods such as orange and grapefruit; as well as foods that strengthen teeth and enamel such as carrots, bananas or spinach.
- Drinking water much more frequently, not only to avoid possible dehydration, but to help maintain the salivary density that helps preserve teeth and gums.
- Do not abuse tobacco and alcohol. These are harmful throughout the year, but summer is the season prone to abuse them.
- Eliminate such common practices as ice chewing. This can be very damaging and lead to fractures and fissures.
- Use of mouthguards in sports. Summer helps to encourage many people to practice more joint sports, water activities and extreme activities, so the mouth can suffer from blows or breaks.
- Avoid abusing very cold and sugary drinks: Summer is the season par excellence for this type of cold drinks with high sugar levels, which causes damage to the enamel and the appearance of dental sensitivity. The ideal would be to avoid these foods, but if they are going to be consumed, that at least it is with straw to avoid the direct contact or that it is of lighter form.
What can we offer the patient?
In addition to the tips above, there are certain products that we can offer our patients so that they can achieve proper hygiene, even without spending the whole day at home or playing sports.
It is important to always carry a small kit with what you need in it to brush your teeth: toothbrush, toothpaste and dental floss. However, we know that it can be annoying or sometimes impossible to carry a toiletry bag with all the necessary material.
As mentioned above, increased consumption of physical-sport activities such as skating or skateboarding can lead to the risk of broken or fallen teeth. Therefore, we can recommend the patient the mouth guard that best suits their needs.