June is the start of summer! School is out and it’s time for family vacations and plenty of outdoor activities. With all the exciting things to do and the variety of tasty treats, it can be easy to forget about your oral care. This can increase the risk of cavities.

June is also Oral Health Month. Celebrate by doing your best to maintain your oral health whether you are taking a trip or enjoying local summer activities with family and friends. Here are a few oral care tips to help you and your family enjoy a cavity-free smile, all summer long!

Stick to Your Daily Oral Care

  • Brush your teeth twice (2) a day for two (2) minutes to prevent plaque buildup.
  • Brush your tongue for 15-30 seconds after you brush to remove bacteria.
  • Floss at least once a day. Flossing prevents plaque buildup between your teeth, where your toothbrush cannot clean.
  • Add a fluoride mouth rinse to your oral care. A fluoride mouth rinse can provide an extra level of protection by strengthening tooth enamel to reduce cavities.

Choose Healthier Food and Drink Options

  • Include options from the five food groups in your meals such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and low-fat dairy products. Healthier choices are also good for your overall health.
  • Choose snacks lower in sugar. Bacteria uses sugar as a fuel that gets converted into acid, attacking the tooth enamel, which causes cavities. Snacks such as cheese, yogurt, almonds, fruits, and vegetables are typically low in sugar. Even if you cannot eat all these foods due to allergies or sensitivities, there are still many other options.
  • Drink water for thirst and with your meals. Water has no sugar. Tap water contains fluoride, which helps prevent cavities. Drinking water will also help keep you hydrated. Remember to limit drinks with added sugar.

Oral Care Tips When You Do Not Have a Toothbrush or Floss

  • Rinse your mouth with water. This will help wash away food particles. Brush and floss once you are able.
  • Chew sugar free gum with xylitol. Chewing sugar free gum for 20 minutes after a meal gets saliva flowing, which helps clean teeth.
  • Eat fibrous fruits and vegetables. Apples, celery, or carrots help remove food debris and plaque from tooth surfaces with their natural abrasive qualities. There are plenty in season to choose from during the summer.

Related Resources

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