Protect Your Oral Health This Fall

September 12, 2021
Avatar for Kelley MingusKelley Mingus

Fall is finally here, and the country is starting to cool off and open back up. The fall means fall sports and outdoor fun, but heading outdoors can have its downsides, too. If you plan on going outside into nature this fall, don’t forget to take some precautions. Here’s a list of sun-safe tips that will help you stay safe this autumn!

Sunblock

The number one tip for heading out into the sun is to wear sunblock or sunscreen. The FDA recommends a minimum of SPF 15 at all times, but the American Academy of Dermatology recommends at least 30. Not sure? Always go with the highest you can find. As for what those numbers mean, The higher the number, the longer it will take for the sun’s rays to burn you. Be sure when wearing sunscreen to cover all exposed skin, and reapply as directed on the bottle.

Also, to help prevent oral cancer, make sure you cover your lips. There are many lip balms on the market that contain SPF.

Finally, opt for a broad-spectrum sunscreen that contains natural elements like zinc and titanium!

Bite Guards

Playing football or soccer, roller skating, or playing baseball this fall? Consider wearing a mouthguard while you play. They not only protect your teeth from getting hit in the mouth or a fall, they also can help protect your teeth when you bite down and grit them during strenuous activities.

Watch What You Drink

It’s important to stay hydrated, especially playing fall sports. Ideally, all you should drink is water, but many people opt for other beverages like juice, soda, and sports drinks. While they may taste good, they’re not great for you or for your teeth.

If you must drink something with high sugar content, be sure to brush your teeth after consuming, or to alternate sips with water so you are rinsing your teeth of all that excess sugar as you cool off.

Beware Fall Foods

Some fall foods are great for our teeth, like many of the fresh veggies that are in season in the fall. Others, unfortunately not so much. Fall is fall festival season, and while it remains to be seen if anyone will be going to festivals or carnivals this fall, if you do, there are certain foods you should avoid, such as candy apples and cotton candy. These sugar-packed snacks are terrible for your teeth. Candy apples have been known to pull out teeth and fillings, and cotton candy is pure, sticky sugar that sits on your teeth while you enjoy the rides and games at the carnival. If you do indulge, be careful, and try to brush as soon as possible afterward!

If you are interested in getting a custom mouthguard made for fall sports, contact Dr. Mingus at 541-382-6565. We wish you a safe and healthy fall!