We’ve heard it all before: Summer’s sugary treats can harm teeth. Running on a pool deck can result in dental disaster. Though they’re important, watch out for these 3 not-so-predictable pearly white pitfalls this summer:
• Garden Hoses
Water from the hose can be different than from the faucet because the hose can actually change the water. More than 65% of garden hoses tested contained polyvinyl chloride (PVC) a chemical that contains lead. Not only is it toxic to your body, lead exposure promotes tooth decay.
° Safe Solution: You can still garden with grace. Find a hose that’s 100% lead-free and PVC-free. Consider one of these drink-friendly options. Once you get a safer version, let your hose run water until it becomes cold. Warm water that has been sitting in the hose will have the highest level of contaminants..
• Inflatable Pool Toys
If you get light-headed from blowing up that beach ball, you may be tempted to pass the task to the child who’s going to play with it. But beware—when you share the spout, you also swap spit. And Streptococcus Mutans, tooth decay-causing bacteria, can be passed through saliva. Indirect contact can still contaminate objects, including toys. This is especially true for toddlers and young children.
° Safe Solution: Don’t waste your breath—shell out a few bucks for an air pump. If you get light-headed, clean off that spout before the next mouth tries.
• Ice cubes
Teeth are tough, but they’re not designed to take crunch from cubes. Fracture lines, chips and cracks are all a possibility when you chew on ice. These small dings weaken the tooth structure and can add up to painful and expensive procedures.
° Safe Solution: Let it melt in your mouth or enjoy ice in its liquid form. If you find your ice-chewing habit difficult to stop, let your dentist know. Craving that crunch might be a sign of iron deficiency.
Don’t let summer fun spoil your smile. Be safe and enjoy the sunshine!