Even though summer break may be a time for family fun, vacations, and a chance to kick back and relax in the warm weather, proper dental care doesn’t take a summer vacation! In fact, dental care over the summer may be a bit trickier than other times of the year. After all, your family’s routine has probably changed, so it’s important to keep up with a good oral hygiene routine and protect your smiles all summer (and all year) long. Your dentist in Sparks has some tips to help.
1. Never Miss a Brushing
Whether you’re on vacation or your kids are simply staying up later or sleeping in longer, schedules can quickly get messed up, but it’s still important to make sure the entire family is still brushing their teeth twice a day. It’s crucial to maintain a proper oral hygiene routine. Everyone should brush their teeth for two minutes every day and floss once a day no matter how chaotic schedules may be.
2. Limit Sugary Treats
Even though your dentist in Sparks always recommends enjoying sweet snacks and sugary drinks in moderation, it can be especially hard to follow this guidance during the hot summer months. Sugar is everywhere and is sometimes hidden in the sneakiest places. Make sure to read the nutrition labels on food, drinks, and even condiments to reduce the amount of sugar your family consumes. When in doubt, water is always the best beverage.
3. Protect Lips From The Sun
You probably already lather sunscreen on your skin, but don’t forget about your lips. Lips can also get a sunburn, so it’s important to protect them with a layer of lip balm with SPF-15 or higher. Over time, sunburn on the lips, or anywhere else on the body, can cause several problems, including skin cancer.
4. Watch Out For Swimmer’s Calculus
While it may be hard to believe, swimming pools may cause tooth damage. Pool water should have a very specific pH level — typically between 7.2 and 7.8. If the pH drops too low, it becomes acidic. Acidic water can have effects on the whole body, including burning eyes, skin irritation, and tooth enamel erosion. If your family loves hanging out at the pool all summer long, keep an eye out for swimmer’s calculus. Swimmer’s calculus usually shows itself as brown spotting on the teeth. Swimmer’s calculus is nearly impossible to remove at home, so if you notice signs, call your dentist in Sparks for help.
5. Schedule a Dental Appointment
Summertime is a great time to schedule your family’s dental appointments, but make sure to call and schedule early as these appointments are very popular and will book up quickly. While you’re at it, try to book the next dental appointment with your dentist in Sparks in six months. Regular dental care can help prevent problems and make any necessary treatment much easier.
Everyone should enjoy their summer break, but don’t let dental care take a backseat during this time. Make sure your family is brushing their teeth twice a day no matter what, limiting sugary snacks, and protecting their skin.
Your dentist in Sparks uses dental x-rays to help see things going on inside the mouth that can’t be seen with the naked eye. Dental x-rays can allow your dentist to catch cavities early when they’re still really easy to treat. Additionally, images from x-rays will show your dental team the overall health of the entire mouth. But we also understand that you may have some concerns about the safety of dental x-rays. We’re here to ease your worries.
Dental x-rays are incredibly safe for both kids and adults. Thanks to advancements in technology, many dentists now offer digital x-rays instead of traditional film x-rays. These digital x-rays not only reduce the amount of radiation exposure by 90%, but they also allow for faster appointments, clearer pictures, and more accurate diagnoses.
How Often Should I Get Dental X-Rays?
We know that we say this a lot but every patient is different, so how often you get dental x-rays will depend on your specific oral health history, current oral health, and individual needs. Please know that your dentist in Sparks will only take x-rays when necessary in order to help diagnose and monitor health. Now, keep in mind that kids may get dental x-rays more often than adults simply because their bodies are changing quickly, they have a lot of growing to do, and decay is more common in kids.
Why Are X-Rays Still Necessary If I Don’t Have Cavities?
X-rays are great at showing areas of decay early when cavities are super small and hard to detect without x-ray images. However, x-rays can show your dentist in Sparks a lot more than just cavities. X-rays can clearly identify any potential concerns with the eruption of adult teeth, see the health of the jaw bone, aid in planning for orthodontics or dental implants, and identify many oral health conditions.
Types of Dental X-Rays
Your dentist may take a variety of different types of dental x-rays at your appointments as each one allows them to see different things.
- Bitewing – Bitewing x-rays take photos of small sections of the mouth and are able to capture photos of multiple teeth in one take. These x-rays can help find decay and cavities.
- Panoramic – Panoramic x-rays show the entire mouth, including all teeth and the jawbone. The images from panoramic x-rays will show your dentist the health of your jaw bone and many other things.
- Occlusal – Occlusal x-rays show the arch of teeth and will help evaluate your bite including an underbite or overbite.
Dental x-rays are an invaluable tool to help monitor your oral health over time and are key to catching potential problems early. After all, prevention and early intervention are key to protecting teeth so your smile can stay healthy.