Going Camping? Pack a Dental Emergency Kit

by MikeMeehan 7/25/2017 10:39 AM

Summer is a great time for a camping trip with the family. And generally, during the summer, we spend more time outdoors swimming, hiking, and playing softball with our buddies. July was declared National Park and Recreation Month encouraging the public to get out and enjoy nature’s beauty. No matter your activity of choice this summer, we are happy to see you getting out there and staying healthy. We have a special concern for your oral health, so let’s keep those smiles healthy and safe with an emergency kit for dental injuries. Is your dental office phone number saved? Summer activities are keeping you active and healthy, but they also have the potential of causing dental injuries. For starters, keep dental emergency information like the phone number of your dentist and your dental benefits information readily available, so it’s easy to find during an emergency or if you’re away from home. Pass this information on to your childcare provider or family members who are watching your kids. Dental emergency kit essentials Along with keeping dental emergency information handy, create a dental first aid kit that’s packed and ready to go for camping trips, road trips, and your other summertime activities. Here’s what Delta Dental Plans Association recommends stocking your dental emergency kit with: Rubber gloves – to prevent spreading germs when caring for an injury. Alcohol wipes – to clean an injury. Cotton balls or gauze pads – to help stop bleeding and temporarily protect an injury. Hydrogen peroxide – to disinfect and to use for cleaning an injury. Salt – to make a soothing mouthwash, dissolve with warm water. Floss – to remove stuck particles from teeth in order to relieve pain. Dental wax – to cover up sharp or broken orthodontic wires and brackets or a fractured tooth. Pain reliever – to help with any oral pain. Topical anesthetic – to help manage oral pain more directly. Vaseline – to temporarily reattach a crown, but see a dentist as soon as possible. Temporary dental filling material – store-bought products will keep the injured tooth protected temporarily, but, again, get to a dentist as quickly as soon as you can. If you’re out camping, having these supplies can help with a bit tongue or lip. If the injury is more serious, like a knocked out tooth, you’ll need to get to an emergency room or a dentist’s office. If your tooth is knocked out… If you, a family member or friend has a tooth knocked out, first rinse the tooth with cold water. If you can, place the tooth back in its socket. If that isn’t possible, put the tooth in a clean container with milk, water or saliva. The 30 minutes after the injury is critical with a knocked out tooth. To try to save the tooth, get to a dentist as soon as possible. For other healthy camping tips concerning your oral health, check out the Summer issue of Grin!® Magazine.

UV Safety Month Tips for Your Oral Health

by MikeMeehan 7/19/2017 10:10 AM

Our awareness of the hazards of UV rays might not include the hazards to our oral health. So, let’s fill in the gap and make sure your smiles are protected from outside oral health dangers. Our focus on this topic also coincides with UV Safety Month, aptly designated as July, when summer pool parties and outdoor activities are at their peak. You may be skipping this important step In the summer, with our trips to the pool and beach, and all the time we spend outside, we remember to protect our skin from the sun’s harmful rays with sunscreen and hats. Now include your lips when you think about protection from the sun. According to Everyday Health, Inc., 63% of people who use sunscreen don’t protect their lips. Sun exposure can increase your risk for lip cancer. Because the skin on your lips is delicate, it requires UV protection just like the rest of your body. When you stock up on sunscreen for the summer, include SPF 30 lip balm or lip sunscreen. Remember to look for an SPF that covers both UVA and UVB rays and just like sunscreen you use on your skin, reapply often. Now with your lips protected while sitting by the pool, there are two other oral health dangers we’d like you to watch out for. Too much chlorine could hurt your enamel The chlorine in the pool is protecting us from bacteria, but pools with too much chlorine can cause damage to the enamel on your teeth. The pH levels can erode tooth enamel, the hard shell coating that protects from decay. Most pools are regularly checked and monitored for pH levels, but it’s a good idea to remind your kids to keep their mouths closed while swimming. Lifeguard says, “No running!” When the lifeguard blows the whistle and yells at the kids, that lifeguard may very well be saving some teeth! With the slippery surfaces that surround a pool, a slip and fall could result in a chipped tooth. Playing in the water can also lead to hitting into pool walls or floors, and playing with friends can turn into an accidental elbow to the mouth. Encouraging all to follow the pool rules can prevent a dental injury, so remember–no running, no diving in the shallow end and no horsing around. Happy summer We want you and your kids to keep those summer smiles intact. Grab the sunscreen products and your sunglasses, and enjoy the sun and outdoors. And just like we encourage preventive dental care all year, remember to keep it up during the summer.

3 Summertime Sweets Good for Your Smile

by MikeMeehan 6/30/2017 10:09 AM

Ah… summer. Time to relax and unwind. While you’re relaxing and enjoying the summer, remember to keep up your oral health routine. To help you do that, here are some summertime fruits to satisfy your sweet tooth so you can protect your smile while enjoying the sun. Although we may associate summer with ice cream, ice pops and s’mores, those summertime choices can increase the risk of tooth decay. Try satisfying your sweet craving with fruit instead. Not only does fruit provide overall health benefits, they have benefits for your smile, too. Strawberries and summer are a wonderful duo. These berries are filled with vitamin C, and vitamin C is needed for the production of collagen. Collagen helps maintain the strength of your gums and strong gums are important for keeping a healthy smile. Reducing plaque and removing the surface stains on your teeth are also on the to-do list of vitamin C. Remember strawberries are acidic, so drink plenty of water after your summer treat. You’ll be drinking the extra water in the summer heat anyway. Apples have a high water content and stimulate saliva production. Your saliva keeps the bacteria in your mouth under control. Also, when you eat this low-acid, fibrous fruit, it scrubs the surface of your teeth. Apples, like strawberries, are called “dental detergents” for this reason. Watermelons, along with strawberries and just like apples, are a water-rich fruit. Along with their smile benefits, they are helping to keep you hydrated during the hot days of summer. Water helps remove particles of food in your mouth and stuck in your teeth, it washes away bacteria, and helps promote saliva production. All this helps increase the natural protection of tooth enamel. Watermelon also has that valuable vitamin C which helps to kill bacteria in your mouth and strengthen gum tissues. Having some strawberries and watermelon cut up and ready to eat in the fridge will make it easier for you and your family to make the choice of healthy fruit over other sweet snacks. Year round, the food you choose to eat can have an impact on your oral health. Consider these other food choices to maintain your healthy smile. Keep up the healthy routine The Delta Dental mobile app can also help you keep up your oral health routine. The app features a built in toothbrush timer, dentist search and access to your claims and coverage and ID cards—providing you access to dental resources whether you are away on summer vacation or at home. Download our mobile app from iTunes or Google Play by searching for “Delta Dental.” Remember to brush twice daily and if you do partake in the summer tradition of s’mores or other foods with cavity-causing sugar, drink lots of water. Not only will you stay hydrated, so imperative in the heat, but you will be washing away excess food particles that stick to your teeth.

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