Even if you brush your teeth twice a day, floss daily, and visit your dentist every six months for your dental checkups and cleanings, you may be missing one vital component of optimal oral health: caring for your lips. Unfortunately, this step is often forgotten, resulting in harmful sun damage and painful, unsightly cracks. To prevent this from happening, keep reading to learn how to protect your lips from the sun and what to do if your lips do get sunburned!
How NOT Protecting Your Lips Can Impact Your Oral Health
Year-round, your lips are subject to harsh weather, whether it’s from hot summers or sub-zero winters. Initially, chapped, tender, or swollen lips can lead to minor inconveniences, like discomfort when you are completing your oral hygiene routine. However, if you consistently leave your lips unprotected, your chances of being diagnosed with oral cancer increase significantly. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance that you prioritize caring for your lips.
5 Prevention Tips to Keep Your Lips Healthy
If you are new to lip care, you’ll be happy to know that achieving healthy, happy lips isn’t overly complicated. Here are a few tips to start:
- Use a lip balm with SPF 15 to SPF 30.
- Reapply every two hours for maximum effectiveness.
- Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
- Exfoliate throughout the week to remove chapped, dry skin.
- Treat sunburns immediately.
What to Do If Your Lips Do Get Sunburned
If you are struggling with red, swollen lips that are tender to the touch, it’s likely your lips are sunburned. For fast, effective relief, gently rest a cool washcloth against your lips. You can also use 100% aloe vera but take special care not to ingest it (if you are unsure which product is best, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your doctor or dentist). Mild sunburns should subside within five days. If it doesn’t get better, make sure to seek treatment from a professional!
Neglecting to care for your lips properly can wreak havoc on your oral and overall health. Fortunately, implementing the above prevention tactics and treatments can keep your lips healthy for years to come!
About the Author
Dr. Megan Shelton made her childhood dream of becoming a dentist a reality after graduating from the University of Louisville School of Dentistry with her dental doctorate. When she isn’t helping her patients achieve a healthy, happy smile, she continues to prioritize education by attending advanced training at some of the world’s most prestigious institutions, like the KOIS Center. If you are interested in learning more about effectively caring for your oral health or are interested in scheduling an appointment, visit her website or give her a call at 760-388-6773.