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Summer is coming quickly, and with summer comes endless days in the pool, warm temperatures, and cold treats galore. Did you know it is important to protect your teeth from things like swimming pool water and lemonade? Summertime is a time to relax, but don’t relax too much when it comes to dental care!

These five suggestions will help you enjoy a pain-free summer when it comes to the health of your mouth.

1. Don’t eat ice. Chewing on hard substances, like ice, can leave your teeth vulnerable and possibly result in damaged tooth enamel. While it may help you cool off from the summer heat, chewing it can potentially damage your teeth. The American Dental Association suggests using ice in your drink to make it cold, but not using it for something to chew on.

2. Make sure your pool is properly chlorinated. If a swimming pool doesn’t have enough chlorine in it, it can actually damage the enamel on your teeth as the pH levels become higher. This can occur in both community pools and personal pools, but is more common when you are adding chlorine yourself. Test strips are available that allow you to test the chlorine and pH levels, ensuring a safer swim.

3. If you go on vacation, take care of any dental problems beforehand. Before you take your big summer vacation, it is suggested that you schedule an appointment with your dentist to make sure your teeth are healthy so you don’t have to worry about it during your vacation. If you are going to a third-world or developing country, dental care may be extremely poor and hard to find. Getting your teeth examined before you leave should guarantee a mouth-pain-free vacation.

4. Wear mouth guards during activities that could cause mouth injury. Experts recommend that everyone, children and adults included, wear mouth guards during an activity that could cause tooth injury.

5. Drink lots of water. Many people have the misconception that drinking lemonade is just as healthy as drinking water. However, this is not the case. Lemonade is very acidic and acidic food and drink can wear away tooth enamel. To stay hydrated, water is the way to go.