If you spend time outdoors in the sun, you know that you have to protect your skin, but what about your teeth?
Fortunately, your teeth generally aren't at risk for direct sun damage, as you aren't liable to sit outdoors with your mouth open for an extended period of time. Still, there are some considerations to keep in mind when it comes to your oral health and the sun.
Beware of Dry Mouth When Spending Time Outdoors
One way that hot, sunny weather can negatively affect the teeth is via dry mouth. If you spend too much time outdoors and don't drink enough water, you might become dehydrated.
This provides the perfect environment for your mouth to accumulate bacteria, as there isn't enough liquid to wash them away. The end result could be gum disease and cavities, so sipping on water throughout your time outdoors can be beneficial.
Protect Your Lips
While the teeth themselves might not be at risk for sun damage, the lips certainly are. You may apply sunscreen before you go outdoors, but many people forget to apply a lip balm with SPF. Those listed as SPF of at least 15 are the best option, and they should be applied liberally before spending any time outdoors. Without the right precautions, lip, skin, or oral cancer risks increase substantially.
Avoid Cold Sores
Another concern when it comes to hot, sunny weather and your oral health is the possibility of cold sores. These small blistes can cause a lot of pain, and most are caused by the herpes simplex virus. However, sun exposure can trigger an outbreak, even if it the virus has remained dormant for many years. Lip protection can help to prevent a breakout.
Do you have questions about how to protect your mouth during hot and sunny weather? Call us today to set up your next appointment.
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Dr. Courtney and her staff are super friendly and made me feel really comfortable. I had to get implants for two "baby" teeth i still had left b/c i never grew permanent teeth in their place. I had to be sedated for the operation and expected to be out of commission for a couples days and in a lot of pain the following week. However, that evening I felt surprisingly good with minimal pain.
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