Keep your cool in the summer heat

The hottest days of the summer can cause all sorts of issues, from simple discomfort to oral and overall health risks like dehydration, but it is possible to beat the heat! Use these tips and tricks to sidestep the sizzle all summer long.

Choose the right outfit

Some clothes will help you stay cooler than others:

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    Loose clothing allows air to flow over more of your skin. This evaporates your sweat and cools you down.

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    Light-colored clothes will absorb less heat than darker clothes.

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    Wear breathable fabrics like cotton and nylon instead of wool, polyester, and silk.

Whatever you wear, you should think of sunscreen and lip balm as must-have accessories. Make sure they have at least SPF 30 to shield your lips and skin from burning, and reduce your risk for oral and skin cancers.

Drink plenty of water

Keep your reusable water bottle handy — being hydrated helps your body keep a normal temperature, something that is even more important when the weather is hot. But that’s not all! Hydration also helps keep your mouth cleaner and:

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    Improves cognition

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    Boosts your mood

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    Helps with sleep quality

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    Washes away leftover food

Beyond drinking water, you should also avoid dehydrating beverages like alcohol, coffee, tea, energy drinks, and caffeinated soda.

Safety tip: If you add ice to your water, resist the urge to chew on it. Ice can easily chip or crack your teeth!

Place ice packs or cold rags on your wrists and neck

Your wrists and neck are “pulse points,” areas of your body where blood vessels are close to the skin. Applying cold compresses to these spots causes the blood vessels to restrict, which helps cool your body faster.

Cool down with cold treats

When you find yourself craving a cold treat, try to reach for something with less sugar than ice cream. In addition to being bad for your teeth, gums, and overall health, eating too much sugar can speed up your metabolism and make you feel hotter.

Instead, try low-sugar Greek yogurt for tooth-strengthening calcium and muscle-building protein, or a nutritious smoothie. Add berries to support your gum health with vitamin C, or blend in vegetables like spinach and other leafy greens for more calcium!

Stay indoors during peak sun hours

Heat and ultraviolet rays coming from the sun are the strongest between 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., so if you’re concerned about overheating, plan to remain indoors during those hours.

Beyond simply staying inside, you can also:

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    Use a slow cooker instead of your oven, which can spread heat throughout your home.

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    Close your curtains and blinds to prevent direct sunlight from coming in through your windows.

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    Head to the basement, if possible, because the air there is naturally cooler.

To pass the time indoors on a hot day, try a relaxing activity like reading, meditating, crafting, cooking, or simply completing a crossword puzzle. Managing your stress level can prevent headaches, lower your risk for heart disease, and even improve your oral health by reducing stress-based teeth grinding.

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