Summer Teeth Quiz

By Catherine M. Fascilla, D.D.S.

The following is a 5 statement quiz brought to you by the American Dental Association.

Fact or Fiction?

1. Ice can be bad for your dental health.

2. Rollerblading is not a contact sport so you don’t need to wear a mouth guard.

3. Sports drinks are better for your teeth than soft drinks.

4. If you’re planning a trip outside the US, take care of any dental problems before you leave.

5. Lemonade can be a healthy and refreshing alternative to water.

If you answered fact for ice can be bad for your dental health, you’re right. While ice may be your best friend on a hot summer's day, it's no friend to your teeth. That's because chewing on hard substances, such as ice, can leave your teeth vulnerable to a dental emergency such as a broken tooth and can even damage enamel. Tip: Use ice to cool your drinks, not as a something to eat.

Not needing to wear a mouth guard for rollerblading is fiction. One of the many perks of summer is being outside! But did you know that experts recommend that everyone, from children to adults, wear mouth guards during recreational activities that could potentially cause a mouth injury? While collision and contact sports are higher-risk sports for the mouth, you can experience a dental injury in non-contact activities too, such as gymnastics and skating.

Sports drinks are not better than soft drinks. Let's face it, when you're hot, you sweat. But before you reach for a sports drink, consider the impact that beverage may have on your mouth. While their name implies they’re healthy, many sports and energy drinks feature sugar as a top ingredient. If you can’t live without your sports drink of choice, check the label to make sure it is low in sugar, or you can always drink water instead.

It is a good idea to take care of any dental problems you have before leaving for a trip, especially outside of the country. For many, summertime means it’s time to hit the road. If you are planning a trip out of the country, you should also consider planning a trip to your dentist, especially if you'll be traveling in developing countries or remote areas without access to good dental care. You may not be covered by your insurance outside of your state and who wants to disrupt a great vacation with a dental emergency anyway!

Lastly, while refreshing, lemonade is not a healthy alternative to water. While there’s nothing like a tall cold glass of lemonade on a hot summer day, the truth is that frequent exposure to acid and sugar can harm your teeth. Acidic foods can erode enamel, and too much sugar can lead to tooth decay. Water is always best when trying to stay cool and hydrated.

No matter the season, you should always take care of your dental health. Be sure you are brushing your teeth for two minutes twice a day and flossing daily. For a healthy mouth and smile the ADA also recommends you replace your toothbrush every three or four months, or sooner if the bristles are frayed. A worn toothbrush won’t do a good job of cleaning your teeth. Make sure to use an ADA-accepted fluoride toothpaste.

This quiz was taken directly from MouthHealthy.org. For more dental health information, visit that site and remember to have a great summer!

Back to main articles page>