PLANTATION, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The long, sunny days of Summer bring big fun, but some of the most popular seasonal activities can also damage a healthy smile. As we slide into Summer, DentalPlans.com, a leading online marketplace for dental and health savings plans in the U.S. is urging Americans to take precautions to keep their teeth and gums safe this season.
“We’re not just advocates for affordable dental care, we also focus on empowering people with the information and resources that they need to lead happier, healthier lives, and that includes Summer safety,” said Jenn Stoll, Chief Commercial Officer. “And a few simple precautions can make a world of difference to your dental and overall health.”
Too Much Pool Water Can Yellow Teeth: Regularly spending more than an hour a day swimming or splashing in a pool can result in dingy teeth. That yellow or brown discoloration is called swimmer's calculus and is caused by the relatively high pH of chemically treated pool water. Don’t worry, though! A professional cleaning can remove it.
Chlorine Makes Your Smile Sensitive: Over-exposure to chlorine can cause your teeth to be extremely sensitive and can cause damage to dental enamel. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, pool water should register between 7.2 and 7.8 on the pH scale. Levels of less than 7.0 are most likely to harm your teeth. You can test pH levels in your home pool with a testing kit from a pool supply or hardware store. When vacationing, or using a public pool, look for signs of erosion in the pool’s railings, ladders and decks which can indicate too much chlorine. You can also trust your nose; over-chlorinated pools tend to have a strong bleach smell.
Grab a Mouth Guard for Sports: Roughly a quarter of dental injuries in children can be attributed to sports accidents, according to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. Consider wearing a mouth guard when playing Summer sports that include impact and speed.
Don’t Chew Ice: Yes, it’s refreshing and thirst-quenching, but chewing ice can crack and chip teeth, damage tooth enamel, cause problems with fillings and crowns, and make your jaw muscles sore. Those who just cannot quit the ice-chomping habit should get a physical checkup – studies have linked a compulsion to chew ice to anemia.
Avoid Scuba Diving If You Have Decay or Gum Disease: Barodontalgia, also known as Tooth Squeeze, is oral pain caused by a change in air pressure. This syndrome typically does not affect healthy teeth, but can cause problems for those with gum disease, dental infections, decay, abscesses and failing or incomplete dental restoration work. Regular dental checkups and good oral hygiene make underwater adventures far more pleasant. Those who do experience Tooth Squeeze should see a dentist.
Drink Up to Avoid Dehydration: Staying hydrated is critical for overall wellness and dental health. A dry mouth can damage tooth enamel and cause dental decay. Besides drinking plenty of water, chewing sugarless gum can also help stimulate saliva flow as can mouth rinses developed for dry mouth care. If dry mouth persists, have a dentist or another health professional evaluate the problem.
Don’t Lose Your Teeth to Summer Treats: Sugary and acidic drinks weaken tooth enamel, which can lead to cavities and even tooth loss. Limit intake of artificially flavored, sugar-free treats that include citric acid and phosphoric acid. Also, limit acidic foods such as tomatoes, citrus fruits, sour candies, and vinegary pickles. When indulging in these foods or drinks, rinse mouths with plain water and wait about an hour before brushing. Brushing teeth shortly after exposure to acids can worsen the damage.
Be Aware of Slippery Surfaces: On a boat, at poolside or caught in a Summer downpour, wet surfaces can result in slips and falls that can create dental damage. You can bruise and sprain your teeth, and the symptoms of this type of damage is a sharp pain in a tooth and sometimes pink or gray discoloration of the injured tooth. If a tooth or teeth have been damaged, loosened, knocked out, broken or chipped, it’s important to see a dentist as soon as possible.
Prepare for the Unexpected: Dental insurance can be expensive, however affordable solutions such as dental savings plans can help you prepare financially for accidents this Summer. Plan members can save 10-60% on most dental procedures – from cleanings to fixes for damaged or missing teeth – from a nationwide network of dentists. To learn more about dental savings plans, visit dentalplans.com.
DentalPlans.com, founded in 1999, is a leading dental and health savings online marketplace in the U.S., helping more than a million people to affordably access quality healthcare services. Our mission is to empower consumers with the tools, information, and services that they need to live happier, healthier lives. www.dentalplans.com.