Summer is the time when you enjoy pool parties, barbeques, summer camps and vacations at granny’s place. Summer is a time to take a break and spend a little extra time with family. But summer is NOT the time to take a break from your routine dental care, which is most likely to happen when we are on vacation or away from our home. Here I remind you to keep your teeth and gums healthy over the next few months by remembering these summer tips:

1. Sipping all day can easily get you tooth decay -  As the sun rises high, it can be tempting to gulp cold and sweet drinks like soda, juice, lemonade, throughout the day. But long term exposure of teeth to the sugar in these beverages can really harm the enamel of your teeth. Soda and even juice have become a part of diet for many adults and kids, unfortunately sugary drinks are one of the primary causes of tooth decay.

Here's how sugar works: the sugar in soda, juices and other sweet beverages is broken down by the bacteria in your mouth and form acids, which damages your teeth structure. This reaction takes place every time you take another sip, creating a continuous assault to the teeth. I know it’s not practical to avoid these sugary drinks all together, but at least limit the consumption of sugary drinks in a day. And do not forget to rinse your mouth with water after drinking sweet syrups, brush and floss twice a day, and don't miss your regular dental checkups.

2. Don’t forget to brush and floss when going away from home - Kids can take advantage of falling out of the habit of brushing and flossing when they are away from home at summer camp, grandma’s place or on a family vacation. Remind your kids to keep toothbrush in their bag packs and to brush and floss at their usual times. 

3. Take care of your braces and wires - Unfortunately, most commonly consumed summer foods can be bad for braces. Barbeques and corn-on-the cob can be so tempting; you chomp some popcorn or eat that sticky pizza unconsciously. While it may be contending for a moment, a loose or broken brackets or wire will definitely take all the joy away. With just a little bit of care, you can avoid paying that extra fee to the orthodontist.

4. Drink lots and lots of water - Adults and especially kids can often get engaged in fun summer activities and sports and forget to drink sufficient amount of water. It's imperative to stay hydrated when the temperature is high, and water is important for preventing a dry mouth and keeping your teeth healthy .So, rather than sipping on soda throughout the day, grab your water bottle and drink all of it.

5. Safety first - Summer sports and activities can be injurious for your teeth, so it's important to always wear a sports or athletic mouthguard during physical activities. Not only can a mouth guard protect your braces or other orthodontic appliances, they can also guard you against mouth cuts, tooth damage/fracture and jaw injuries.