Summer, Sports and Sugar? Avoid Summer Health Concerns... and a Trip to the Dentist

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Dr. Kimberley Latour, a general dentist practicing in Schaumburg, IL, says there are 3 rules of maintaining health and avoiding summer health concerns, including a trip to the dentist, "Drink, Skip and Sip. Drink water, skip fast food and sip straws."

School might be out for summer, but summer activities and sugary, sticky foods are most definitely in, raising health concerns for keeping teeth safe and healthy in the most popular season for children and teens. Dr. Kimberley Latour, a general dentist practicing at Woodfield Dental ( in Schaumburg, IL, says there are 3 rules of summer, "Drink, Skip and Sip. Drink water, skip fast food and sip straws."

“During the summer, we definitely see an increase in children visits, but for different reasons based on teens and children,” says Dr. Kimberley Latour, a dentist at Woodfield Dental in Schaumburg, IL. “With teens, it's primarily due to sports and activities, often in the contact sports such as soccer and basketball. We see more injuries to the mouth as a result of playing sports than from almost any other single cause.”

Coincidently, soccer and basketball are sports where it’s not required for players to wear mouthguards or face masks, which increases the potential for new or pre-existing mouth and injuries, especially with teens who are wearing braces. Any for anyone who participates in sports, knows the worst thing that can happen to a player is sustaining an injury—particularly when the injury is preventable.

This is why it's critical to wear protective gear such as helmets, shin guards, knee andelbow pads, and mouthguards. It’s been reported that mouthguards prevent more than 200,000 oral injuries a year, preventing mouth cuts, jaw injuries and tooth damage. There are several mouthguards available (custom-made, mouth-formed, ready-made) and it's best to consult your primary dentist before you make a decision.

In addition, parents need to remember that summer typically means more snacks, less supervision. Concession stands, snack bars, family vacations—all are great fun, but also tempting when it comes to sugar-filled drinks and sweets.

“Tooth decay and cavities surge in the summer with the little ones. It’s difficult to resist, but practicing good dental care habits early on will help later in life. I love to remind parents and younger patients of the 3 dental rules of summer: Drink, Skip and Sip: drink water, skip fast food and sip straws.”

Drink water: water contains no sugar, no acids and no calories, so your teeth, and your body, will benefit. Water also helps keep gums hydrated and rinses away food particles that would otherwise remain in the mouth promoting bacterial growth that causes decay.

Skip fast food: nuts, cheese, and cold cut sandwiches can be healthier substitute as well as fruits and vegetables that have higher content (eg, apples, pears, and celery), which help to refresh and clean the mouth, washing away bacteria and sugar from your teeth.

Sip straws: for the unavoidable times of drinking soda or juice, a straw will contain the fluids until they go down the throat, reducing contact with teeth and bacteria build-up

About Dr. Kimberley Latour
Dr. Kimberley Latour is a practicing dentist at Woodfield Dental in Schaumburg, IL, just across the street from Woodfield Mall. She provides dental care for patients of all ages, specializing in cosmetic and adult restorative dentistry, including crowns and bridges, aesthetic rehabilitation and implant restoration. Dr. Latour is also an expert in Invisalign. Dr. Latour prides herself on delivering patient comfort and providing a positive dental experience.

About Woodfield Dental
Located in Schaumburg, IL, Woodfield Dental understands the things that matter
most to you. Comfort with your trust, compassion for your healthcare and confidence in your choices. New patients are always welcome—it’s never too late to correct oral health.
Woodfield Dental, 1701 East Woodfield Road, Suite 150 in Schaumburg, IL 60173.

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