Summers in Las Vegas can be brutal and punishing thanks to the heat of the desert sun. And even though your teeth aren’t subject to the sun’s beating rays, they can suffer, too. Here’s why summer is so hard on your teeth.

Dehydration Is Bad for Your Teeth

With the hundred-degree weather we’re having all week, we’re all going to be retreating inside our air conditioned homes for most of the day, but even so just brief stints outside can drain your moisture away through vigorous sweating. And if you have a job or other activities that keep you outside, you can definitely get dehydrated.

With dehydration, your saliva can be depleted, and it can even become acidic, so that the saliva that’s supposed to be protecting your teeth can actually be damaging it. You have to be especially careful to maintain your moisture levels in the summer so your teeth can avoid this condition.

Rehydration May Not Be Much Better

On the other hand, there are many ways to rehydrate, but most of them can be damaging to your teeth. Water, of course, is the best, and it actually protects your teeth with its safe levels of fluoride and neutral pH. Tea (including iced tea) and coffee aren’t too bad either. Although they’re staining, teeth whitening is effective at removing these stains, and both these drinks can protect your teeth–if you don’t add a lot of sugar.

Sports drinks and sodas are the worst choice for rehydrating your teeth. They are sugary and acidic, so you want to consume them in moderation, and rinse with water afterward.

Summer Rec Leagues

Many of us who sit around all winter see the summer as an opportunity to participate in recreational sports or other activities. It’s good to get out and get active, but it’s also important to be careful. This is when dehydration can be a major problem. Sports injuries are among the leading causes of dental trauma, so wear a mouthguard if you’re playing sports this summer.

And remember what to do if you chip or crack a tooth, or if your tooth turns dark after taking a hit.

Smile through the Summer

If you take care of your teeth, none of these situations will irreparably damage your smile. And even if something goes wrong, we can help, with reconstructive dentistry from porcelain veneers for small chips to dental implants for lost teeth.

If your smile was damaged this summer, please call (702) 873-0324 for an appointment with a Las Vegas cosmetic dentist at the office of Dr. James B. Polley.