4 Tooth-Friendly, Summertime Tips for Active Teens

4 Tooth-Friendly, Summertime Tips for Active Teens
Posted on 08/08/2019

Teens laughing in carSummer is the season for fun and athletic activities including baseball, soccer, skateboarding, and waterskiing. Protect your smile while you engage in all of your sports-related fun by following these four tooth-friendly summer tips.

1. Get Fitted for a New Mouthguard

A mouthguard is a protective device you wear inside your mouth over your top and/or bottom teeth. The pliable but tough material in the mouthguard helps the teeth absorb impacts from contact sports and other sports-related collisions.

Mouthguards come in ready-to-wear and custom designs. Your dentist makes an impression of your teeth to create a custom mouthguard for you. The custom mouthguard is perfectly contoured to nest around the teeth and provide optimum protection from blunt force.

Young people should wear custom-fabricated mouthguards when engaging in these summer activities:

  • Acrobatics and gymnastics
  • Field and roller hockey
  • Martial arts
  • Mountain biking
  • Soccer and rugby
  • Surfing
  • Volleyball
  • Water polo
  • Weightlifting

Wear your mouthguard whenever you engage in contact sports including baseball, softball, lacrosse, and football. Pack your mouthguard with your gear when you attend any summer ball camps or clinics. Use the mouthguard during both your team practice times and your team's sporting competitions.

2. Keep Track of Your Retainer

Teens have a million things on their minds over the summer, but most teens wouldn't rate their retainers very high on the list of their summertime concerns. However, when teens are vigilant about wearing their retainers all summer as directed by their dentists, they can make significant progress in reshaping their smiles.

Develop healthy retainer habits with the following summer tips:

  • Use a dentist-approved storage container for your retainer.
  • Have approved backup retainer storage in case you lose or damage the original container.
  • Decorate your retainer-storage container so you can always find it.
  • Label your container with your name and contact information.
  • Take your retainer out and store it when you go swimming, diving, or engage in other water sports.
  • Brush your retainer when you brush your teeth.
  • Never leave your retainer in a hot car, sunny window, or other heated area.

When you create your summer packing lists for adventures like camp, cross-country visits with family, or vacations, make it a habit to place your retainer first on your must-pack gear lists. View your retainer as an essential part of your summer travel kit, and you're less likely to leave the retainer behind.

3. Watch Out for Swimmer's Calculus

If you love spending all day in a chlorinated pool, be on guard for the symptoms of swimmer's calculus. Swimmer's calculus is from extended contact with improperly chlorinated water in swimming pools. Your teeth may become extremely sensitive, develop brown or yellow stains, and/or lose enamel if you develop the condition.

According to one researcher, chlorinated pool water with an acidic pH lower than 7 will erode teeth and cause discoloration. Some researchers believe that the acidic pool water mixes with oral fluids to create the enamel erosion and deposits.

When you swim in chlorinated pools or soak in chlorinated hot tubs, protect your teeth by avoiding swallowing the chlorinated water or submerging your face in the water. Rinse your mouth with plain water after every swim or soak in a chlorinated pool.

Look for signs that a pool's water has an acidic pH. The substances in improperly chlorinated water that erode teeth will also erode ladders and railings at the edges of a pool with improper chlorine levels. The pool's liner may also be eroding.

Limit your swimming time in pools you suspect have acidic water. Or, head to a local lake, pond, or creek to cool off on a hot day.

Keep up with your twice-daily brushing, flossing, and other dental care to maintain healthy teeth. Healthy teeth can fight off swimmer's calculus better than teeth weakened by cavities and plaque.

4. Deal With Bad Teeth Before Flights or Scuba Diving

Don't risk an evil toothache while you're on a high-country adventure or deep-sea diving along the coast. A condition known as barodontalgia causes tooth pain in adventurers with underlying dental problems.

Barodontalgia occurs when a person's body undergoes a sudden pressure change. The pressure change can result from being underwater, in a pressurized airplane, or while mountain climbing. People with poor teeth generally begin experiencing barodontalgia at altitudes between around 2,000 to 5,000 feet. The condition occurs at underwater depths between 33 to 82 feet.

People in pressurized or non-pressurized aircraft often feel the worst tooth discomfort when the aircraft ascends. Divers tend to feel the painful effects of barodontalgia most when they descend into the water.

You can avoid barodontalgia this summer during your deep-sea or high-flying adventures by having a dental professional examine your teeth before you embark on your activities. You're far less likely to have problems with pressure changes and your teeth when your teeth are free of cavities, infected spots, and other dental decay problems.

Whether your teeth have bothered you this summer or you need a fresh dental mouthguard in the Edina, Burnsville, or Minnetonka areas, ask your parents to contact Dentistry for Children & Adolescents today. We fill cavities, provide mouthguards, and offer a full range of professional dental services for busy teens.


Dentistry for Children & Adolescents

  • Edina Office - 7373 France Ave. S., Suite 402, Edina, MN 55435 Phone: 952-831-4400
  • Burnsville Office - 14050 Nicollet Ave., Suite 100, Burnsville, MN 55337 Phone: 952-435-4102
  • Eden Prairie Office - 6385 Old Shady Oak Road, Suite 150, Eden Prairie , MN 55344 Phone: 952-932-0920

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