Summer can be one of the hardest times to keep an oral hygiene routine going. While winter is filled with the sweets of holidays and fall brings Halloween, summer is arguably the worst ongoing period for dental health.

That’s because summer doesn’t have just one day of sugar — it has 60. The backyard pool parties, popsicles, ice cream trucks, later bedtimes and later nightly snacks. All of these factors have an effect on your dental health.

Of course, we love summertime in Seattle and don’t believe a zero tolerance policy is ever effective. Instead, consider the importance of making smarter decisions when it comes to summertime treats.

Test your knowledge with these questions from our Seattle dentist to make sure you’re armed with usable dental health information.

True or False: Ice Is Bad For Dental Health

If you answered “true,” give yourself a pat on the back. Ice might have zero calories and no sugar, but it can be dangerous for the enamel of your teeth. Resist the urge to chew on ice; instead, use it to cool off your drinks.

The same idea holds for icy popsicles. As best you can, don’t chew down on these hard, icy substances. Let them melt and lick them instead so as to avoid a dental emergency.

True or False: Skateboarding Doesn’t Require A Mouthguard

This couldn’t be more false! Just because activities such as rollerblading and skateboarding aren’t classified as “contact sports” doesn’t mean that a mouthguard is obsolete.

In fact, dental experts recommend that everyone (even you, adults), wear mouthguards during recreational activities such as skating, blading, and scootering.

True Or False: Sports Beverages Are Worse For Your Teeth Than Soda

You might be surprised to learn that this fact is true. While we think of sports drinks, such as Gatorade, as healthier for us thanks to good marketing tactics, they’re actually loaded with sugar. Most of them taste so good precisely for this fact.

Instead of drinking a sports or energy drink as a “healthier” alternative, stick with water. If you can’t handle the lack of flavor, add a sliced lemon to give it a zing.

The same goes for lemonade, sweet tea, and other refreshing summertime beverages. These drinks erode your tooth enamel and expedite tooth decay thanks to the high acidity and sugar content.

When in doubt, stick with water.

True Or False: It’s Better To Eat Dessert With Meals

While this might change the concept of dessert, it’s actually much better to eat dessert with your meal. When we eat, our saliva produces enzymes that break down sugar and food.

During meal time, we produce the most saliva. Thus, it’s much better to eat sugary treats just after you eat the rest of your food. Your body is much more likely to break down the harmful sugar rather than having it stay stuck in your teeth.

Our Seattle Dentist

This summer, make smarter oral health decisions — including visiting First Hill Dental Center in Seattle. We provide a range of general and emergency dentistry services, and we’d be happy to provide you dental care!