- Living in Water Mill this summer, Dr. Michael Apa
, DDS is extra-aware of the sun and fun and that it is "prime-time" for outdoor activities for kids and grown-ups. As we swarm the tennis courts, playgrounds, pools, waterways and sporting fields, we need to be vigilant of the hidden dangers of certain summertime activities as well as the foods and drinks of summer, and how they can affect teeth and our summer smiles!
Dr. Apa concentrates on aesthetic and restorative dentistry, and offers some tips on how to keep smiling through the summer months.
• Drink loads and loads of water! Dehydration and dry mouth can cause serious tooth decay.
• Mouth guards are not just for kids! Adults should be fitted for them too - they serve as inexpensive sports protection. Try Gubbins.
• Chlorine in chemically treated pools can erode and weaken teeth, so don't linger in the pool.
• Diver's Mouth Syndrome when scuba diving or snorkeling can cause jaw joint pain, gum tissue problems or tooth pain. Take extra precaution if a tooth has been recently extracted or if you have a big cavity, a broken filling, etc. as the changing pressure can become extremely painful.
• Swim in our Ocean! Whether it's Westhampton Beach or Georgica
, hit the ocean! The ocean's salt water decreases bacteria in the mouth providing a healthy oral environment!
• Citrus fruits can cause erosion and their harmful acids can weaken the tooth's enamel. Be sure to rinse your mouth with water after you eat.
• Did you know that watermelon helps clean teeth and gums due to high water content? Grab one at the Amagansett Market.
• Strawberries are considered natural remedies for teeth whitening. Rub them or the inside of an orange peel on your teeth daily to remove all stains.
• Next time you buy a half-gallon of apple cider from one of the Hamptons' many Farm Stands, use some of it mixed with vinegar and brush your teeth vigorously for two minutes for a cleaner smile!
• Careful when you chew those saltwater taffy pops and licorice at Dylan's in East Hampton. Pulling or yanking on hard candy
like that can break teeth and loosen cavity fillings.
"I have noticed that the number of dental emergencies from outdoor play and good-weather activities have risen exponentially starting in June," Dr. Apa explains. "In July and August, accidents that cause tooth injuries occur mostly from falling off playground swings, diving into shallow pools, miniature golf, baseball, skateboarding, in-line skating and bicycling. There's also the way we take care of our teeth in summer that is of particular interest to many," Apa adds. "Certain foods, drinks and exposure to the elements all can influence tooth discoloration."
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