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Dental Health

How to protect your smile during the summer

Summertime means getting outside and enjoying yourself. But some outdoor activities, like skateboarding, basketball and lacrosse, can pose dental dangers.

Dr. Gerald Curatola, a dentist at Rejuvenation Dentistry in New York City, said that more than a quarter million people knock out one of their teeth each summer.

“They will wear wrist guards when they’re skateboarding, but they never think about their mouths and their teeth and their smile,” Curatola told FoxNews.com.

People looking to protect their pearly whites can wear mouthguards designed to keep teeth intact.

"For a baseball game we have a light-weight mouthguard,” Curatola explained.  “For basketball and karate, we'll have a heavier weight, and then for kickboxing and other heavy activities we'll actually have a heavy weight mouthguard."

Sweating in the summer sun can drain your body of essential minerals – which actually takes a toll on your teeth.

"Dehydration (and) lack of electrolytes cause tissues in the mouth to become dry as well, which can promote gum disease and tooth decay," Curatola said.

While staying hydrated with water is important, make sure not to turn to alcohol.  Not only does drinking beer and liquor dehydrate you, but beer bottles are notorious for chipping teeth.  The same goes for summer foods like peaches, ribs and corn on the cob, which are also known to cause chips.

If you do chip a tooth, do not go to the emergency, but call your dentist for the best fix.

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