Now that summertime is officially here, I figured it would be the perfect time to pass along some tips for staying healthy this summer. Most people tend to spend more time outdoors in the summer and many people plan family vacations. Even thought our routine might change, it is important to keep your dental and overall health in mind! Here are my top 5 tips for staying healthy this summer.
Now that temperatures are up and humidity is rising, it is important to drink plenty of fluids during these hot summer months. Not only is hydration important for our overall health, it is important for our oral health as well. Water is necessary for our mouth to produce saliva, which has antibacterial qualities. A lack of saliva can cause bad breath and can increase our susceptibility to cavities as we lose some of our natural antibacterial protections. Drink even more water when flying since the altitude on airplanes can cause faster dehydration.
If you are traveling this summer, always make sure to pack extra supplies. Limit liquids to less than 3.5 oz if you are flying or TSA will not allow you to bring them through security. If you have braces or Invisalign, always bring extra floss, floss-threaders, wax, and elastics with you. You want to make sure you have extras in case you need them or in case of a minor orthodontic emergency. Check out our last blog if you do have an emergency for tips on how to solve it. Don’t forget to bring your orthodontic retainers when you are traveling!
Many of the best summer treats (ice cream, popsicles, lemonade) contain large amounts of sugar. Even fruits such as watermelon and strawberries contain lots of sugars. These treats can cause cavities if eaten regularly and over the course of a day. Instead, enjoy these treats in moderation with your regular meals. Also, avoid adding that lemon or lime to your water. Though these fruits can add flavor, the acidity of the citrus can damage your enamel with frequent exposure. Colgate has a great chart that shows you the acidity of many common fruits- lemons and lime are some of the most acidic!
Always remember to wear sunscreen if you are out in the sun. I probably sound like a broken record, but prolonged sun exposure can cause not only sunburns but also skin cancer such as melanoma. Don’t forget to wear chapstick with SPF as well. Many people do not think of this, but cancers of the lip such as squamous cell carcinoma are not uncommon and can be prevented with SPF protection. Bug spray is also important to prevent diseases passed from mosquitoes.
Even though the days are longer and nights are shorter, make sure to keep a consistent sleeping pattern. Sleep is important for your immune system, metabolism, memory and learning as well as countless other bodily functions. Many studies have even shown that most growth occurs at night. It is important to not get too far off a regular sleeping schedule, even when on vacation.
Hope everyone has a great summer! Contact us if you have any questions.