Summer is a time when many of us tend to “let down our hair” a little bit, relaxing the rules, enjoying the sunshine and any excuse to be outdoors. Perhaps you’ve had the chance, with restrictions lifted, to enjoy outdoor dining or a pint or two on a patio. In fact, we hope you have. However, if you did – or plan to – don’t forget about your teeth! Yes, adults, this blog is for you because sometimes no matter the best of intentions, we are good at ensuring our kids look after their teeth all the while neglecting our own. Don’t let summer cravings spoil your teeth rotten!
I think it sometimes surprises patients how quickly the lack of self-care can take a turn for the worst when it comes to our teeth. By no means am I suggesting a sangria will lead to a root canal or a pint from one of our neighbours to the north in Caledon; breweries like Badlands, GoodLot, Sonnen or Caledon Hills will lead to a cavity. But, do keep in mind that repeated exposure to any excessive amount of sweets; beverages or desserts, without also taking good care of your teeth, mouth and gums, can lead to issues. Perhaps tired from entertaining on a Saturday night you hit the bed without brushing. You make up for it Sunday morning but before you know it friends have stopped by (after all, we can see our friends now!) with a delicious strawberry shortcake and now that midday treat has been sitting around in the cracks and crevices between your teeth from noon ‘til midnight! Unless you’ve also been swigging water all day long to prevent dehydration that’s a long time between morning and evening brushing with nothing to help rinse away the sugars in-between. Let’s not forget even our favourite summertime healthy foods like apples, peaches and nectarines (to name a few) are all also potentially hazardous, not to our health but to our teeth, and that’s why brushing and flossing must remain high on our list of “Things To Do” each day, summer or not! In fact, speaking of flossing, something else we see a lot of in both older and younger adults alike (children too but they are a work in progress) is a lack of flossing. Even if you are very diligent about brushing, flossing is a habit adults should really try to, well, get in the habit of!
If you are making the most of the summer and the great weather, the chance to finally gather with good friends and family, we are very happy for you! We’re happy for everyone in Ontario that pandemic restrictions are finally easing but please don’t let that turn into an easing of the care you normally give your health and welfare – including your teeth! With the plethora of products like easy-to-use floss picks in addition to traditional floss, there is really no reason to let the hot, lazy, hazy days of summer allow you to get lazy about flossing. While we’re at it, we will remind you as we always do at this time of the blog to please remember this other simple advice: “Don’t forget to be a BFF with your mouth and brush that smile!”
*A Special Note From Brinkley!
Flossing with dental floss vs. flossing with picks that have soft bristles, floss picks or using a dental flossing tool such as a Waterpik are all good options. In a perfect world, dental floss is best as it truly allows you to guide the floss into every nook and cranny and it can handle tight spaces. But if it’s “a pick, a bristle or a Waterpik vs. nothing at all” we will always support your choice to floss – one way or another!