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Summer is almost here. We’re counting the hours, are you? Of course, summer is a great time in Fairfax, Virginia. Rock the Block is about to get underway, Movies Under the Moon is about to start, and of course there are all the activities that come with the warm weather.

Everyone at our office wants you to have a fun summer, but we also want you to still have a great smile at the end of a great season. A big part of that is taking care of your teeth by brushing and flossing, but it also means keeping an eye on what you eat and drink.

Summer is a time to relax and take it easy, and it is also time to be more active, especially outside. Playing sports and doing yard work or just having an energetic day at the beach or the park can leave you dehydrated, and getting rehydrated is the smart thing to do. If you need to boost your electrolytes after mowing the yard or exerting yourself, a sports drink will be fine, as long as you limit your intake and maybe even add a little water. In addition to rehydrating you, sports drinks can contain carbohydrates that you may not need, and may contribute to obesity. So leave the sports drinks for our cool down, don’t have one with a meal. If you are thinking about powering up with an energy drink, you may want to think again. Dentists, including Dr. Paul Lee will warn you against sports drinks, particularly when it comes to kids. Sports drinks are heavy in stimulants which are not good for the body, and may contain sugars and acids that will damage your tooth enamel. While many juices contain vitamins that are good for your body, citrus juices contain acids that can attack your teeth, so enjoy your juice with a glass of water. In fact water is one of the best things you can drink for your body and for your teeth. The calcium in milk is also great for strengthening your smile as well.

Summer is a time for eating. People enjoy picnics, barbecues, and the offerings at festivals, concerts and state fairs. No summer would be complete without a little bit of fun food, but it should be a very small part of what you eat this season. The bacteria in the plaque on your teeth uses the sugars from things like ice cream, candy, and other sweets, and the carbohydrates in other foods to create the acid that causes cavities. And, if what you eat doesn’t agree with you, it could aggravate or create a condition called acid reflux, in which the acid in your stomach travels to your mouth, which can damage your teeth. Obviously, we don’t have to tell you not to drink pool water, but if you do take a dip in the pool, make sure you keep your mouth closed. Not only is pool water full of bacteria that is not good for your mouth or for your teeth, but it also contains chlorine. While chlorine is necessary for keeping a pool as clean as possible it is also very damaging to your tooth enamel.

If you want a clean, healthy smile to start the summer, and you want to make sure that you can keep it that way, come see us at Dr. Paul Lee. Call 703-352-9600 today and we will help you plan your visit.