Oral Health Care Tips for Summer
While summer break is most certainly a time to rest, relax and adventure with family, the disruption in routine can cause some kids (and parents) to let their hygiene fall by the wayside. Keeping up with dental hygiene throughout the summer is important for maintaining good health throughout the year. These tips and tricks are perfect for summer camp adventures, vacations and impromptu sleepovers.
Constant reminders to brush at breakfast, lunch or dinner can be a good way to help kids remember to brush. Making a fun chart to track daily brushing progress or downloading brushing timer aps to your mobile devices, are also great ways to encourage oral hygiene on the go.
Staying hydrated during summer heat is essential to your entire body, but water is also great for teeth. Sipping on water can help rinse away food particles and other agents left in the mouth from eating or drinking. The saliva produced from drinking water helps to rinse harmful acid and bacteria which eventually lead to tooth decay.
Keep in mind that popular sugary sports drinks and fruit juices can damage tooth enamel and promote harmful bacteria in the mouth. Try drinking the occasional soda or fruit juice with a straw, which provides a bypass from the lips to the throat, keeping sugar away from teeth. It’s also best to finish soda or juice in one setting, preferably while having a meal.
Sugary snacks can also have problematic effects on teeth. With less supervision during the summer, children may be easily tempted by the contents of your pantry. Keep fresh, seasonal fruits and veggies and nuts easily accessible for little hands, you can even buy in bulk and pre-portion snacks in small sandwich bags. Having healthy snacks at eye-level and in reach of kids is a great way to encourage healthy snacking in between meals. Tip: Dehydrated vegetables, such as kale, make a great alternative to starchy potato chips. See our Top 6 superfoods for great oral health for more snacking suggestions.
Make a Visit to your Dentist
With no tests or classes to compete with, summer is the perfect time to schedule dental exams! The cleaning will help establish a good baseline for the summer. It also gives your dentist an opportunity to help reinforce the importance of regular brushing and flossing, and instruct kids on how to remove the most plaque possible.
Keeping your child’s mile bright and healthy can be as easy as planning ahead and packing healthy snacks. Keeping up with kids’ dental health during the summer helps keep kids healthy all year long.
Photo credit: Seth Stoll