Taking Care of Your Teeth in the Summer

14 December, 2020
During the summer, your chances of experiencing dental sensitivity are higher. Additionally, outdoor activities can negatively influence oral health.

Do you want to learn how to care for your teeth in the summertime?

During these months you’re out of the house more, you tend to go on vacations, you eat out, and eat ice cream. You drink carbonated beverages, you eat more sweets, et cetera. What if, on top of that, you don’t practice good oral hygiene?

Often, you can forget to brush your teeth or floss multiple times per day. Fortunately, there are a few key tips to help you take care of your teeth during the summertime. Put them into practice!

Dental sensitivity

The condition most frequently experienced in the summer months is dental sensitivity. This is because people consume more cold and sweet foods. Dental hypersensitivity is a sensation produced when the cold comes into contact with the dental pulp.

According to the medical paper, “Sensibilidad Dentaria,” it can have many different causes. Among them, we’ll highlight the following:

  • Exposure of the tooth’s root due to receding gums
  • Periodontal disease
  • Acidic foods that erode enamel
  • Exposure of dentin
  • Wearing down of enamel
  • Aggressive brushing, which causes erosion of enamel
  • Bruxism (grinding teeth)
Eating cold foods in the summer can cause problems like dental sensitivity.

How does the stimulus reach the bottom of the gums?

Dentin is made up of a microtubular structure. The microtubules are arranged in a way that allows the stimulus to easily travel from the dentin to the pulp. The dentin is naturally protected by a thin layer, either enamel if it’s the crown, or cement if it’s the root.

By being exposed due to one of the reasons mentioned above, the stimulus passes through the microtubules in the dentin and reaches the pulp, where the nerves receive the information and send it in the form of pain signals.

Discover: 7 Symptoms that Signal a Dental Infection

Diagnosis

The Journal of Dentistry says that, in this case, the pain always appears due to the stimulus from sweet, cold, acidic, or hot foods and beverages. Additionally, pain can occur when breathing cold air or brushing. It’s an intense pain of short duration. If the pain is persistent, it’s best to seek help from a dentist to obtain a precise diagnosis.

Treatment options

Addressing bad dietary habits and learning to brush correctly are the two key points. Additionally, a wide range of pharmaceutical products is available to professionally treat the condition. These include toothpaste, gels, or medicinal mouthwashes.

These products should always be dentist-recommended.

Tips for taking care of teeth in the summer months

Brushing and flossing multiple times per day is crucial.
  • Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration. This will ensure you produce enough saliva to preserve your teeth and keep your gums and lips from drying out.
  • Eat a balanced diet consisting primarily of vegetables, fruits, and fish.
  • Try to limit consumption of sodas and carbonated beverages, since they are acidic and contain a large amount of sugar. These two conditions can damage your teeth.
  • Be careful to avoid accidents in outdoor activities or playing sports. When necessary, be sure to use a mouthguard. In case of dental trauma, seek the attention of a dentist immediately.

You might be interested in: Reinforcing Oral Hygiene in Children

  • Practice good oral hygiene. It’s important to brush your teeth after every meal, even when you’re on vacation. Using mouthwash and dental floss is also important. Don’t forget that the most important time of the day to brush is before bed. You should brush your teeth for about 2 minutes each time you brush.
  • Be careful with chlorine. The chlorine present in water in swimming pools can change the pH of the mouth, and cause demineralization of the enamel. To counteract this effect, the best solution is to use a fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash recommended by a dentist.

Take care of your teeth in the summer, too

To care for your teeth in the summer you must pay attention to your oral hygiene habits and to all the factors that can cause sensitivity.

Additionally, ensure that you have good eating habits, and take preventative measures when taking part in activities that expose you to injuries. And, of course, if you have any discomfort or questions, make an appointment with a trusted dentist.

  • Pashley DH. How can sensitive dentine become hypersensitive and can it be reversed?. J Dent. 2013;41 Suppl 4(0 4):S49–S55. doi:10.1016/S0300-5712(13)70006-X
  • Cunha-Cruz J, Wataha JC, Heaton LJ, et al. The prevalence of dentin hypersensitivity in general dental practices in the northwest United States. J Am Dent Assoc. 2013;144(3):288–296. doi:10.14219/jada.archive.2013.0116
  • Goldberg M, Kulkarni AB, Young M, Boskey A. Dentin: structure, composition and mineralization. Front Biosci (Elite Ed). 2011;3:711–735. Published 2011 Jan 1.
  • Mishra MB, Mishra S. Sugar-Sweetened Beverages: General and Oral Health Hazards in Children and Adolescents. Int J Clin Pediatr Dent. 2011;4(2):119–123. doi:10.5005/jp-journals-10005-1094
  • Tortolini P. Sensibilidad dentaria. http://scielo.isciii.es/pdf/odonto/v19n5/original3.pdf
  • Front Biosci (Elite Ed). Author manuscript; available in PMC 2012 May 27.
    Published in final edited form as: Front Biosci (Elite Ed). 2011 Jan 1; 3: 711–735. Published online 2011 Jan 1. Dentin: Structure, Composition and Mineralization. http://scielo.isciii.es/pdf/odonto/v19n5/original3.pdf
  • Journal of Dentistry. 2013 Sep; 14(3): 136–145. Dentin Hypersensitivity: Etiology, Diagnosis and Treatment; A Literature Review. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3927677/
  • Int J Clin Pediatr Dent. 2011 May-Aug; 4(2): 119–123. Published online 2010 Apr 15. Sugar-Sweetened Beverages: General and Oral Health Hazards in Children and Adolescents. doi: 10.5005/jp-journals-10005-1094