Ah, summertime…no school, no homework, no motivation to stick to important routines like waking up at a decent hour. If you have kids, the summer months may feel chaotic, but amid day camp sign-ups and trips to the beach, it’s important to stay on top the little things like dental hygiene. Here are a few tips to keep carefree summer smiles bright:
Tip #1: Keep up with oral hygiene
Despite the break from school year routines, the one routine kids must keep up is brushing and flossing daily, even during vacations and camps. Also be sure to replace old toothbrushes if they’ve been in use longer than three months—and while you’re in that store aisle, it might be a good idea to pick up some disposable teeth cleaners and travel-size floss to toss in your bag for corn-on-the-cob and other food-stuck-in-teeth emergencies.
Tip #2: Stock up on healthy snacks
Instead of three square meals a day, your kid’s summer diet might involve grazing on snacks every hour or so. That’s why it’s important to keep your kitchen stocked with healthy snacks like whole grains, proteins, and fresh fruits and vegetables instead of sugary snacks and processed foods.
Then again, it is summer after all, so avoiding treats altogether might not be feasible. In that case, choose ice cream or frozen yogurt as a sweet, refreshing treat instead of cookies and candy that can stick to teeth—the sugar in frozen desserts washes away quickly with a glass of water afterward, significantly lowering the risk of cavities.
Tip #3: Stay hydrated
Speaking of water, staying hydrated during hot summer days and sweaty outdoor activities isn’t just a crucial way to stay healthy overall—water is also a smart alternative beverage to acidic sodas, sugary juices, and sports drinks that can eat away at tooth enamel and cause serious dental problems down the road. In general, it’s also a good idea to rinse with water after every meal or snack.
Tip #4: Protect that smile
Spending more time doing fun outdoor activities means increased chances for injury, and not just broken bones. Wearing a mouthguard while playing sports is a great way to prevent mouth injuries, and be sure your kids follow the rules when swimming in public or private pools (no running, no diving in shallow water, etc.).
But we all know accidents still happen, so the best thing parents can do is prepare for the worst with an emergency dental care kit that includes gauze, a small container with a lid (to store a knocked-out tooth in salt water or milk to keep it moist), ibuprofen, a handkerchief, and your dentist’s contact info.
Tip #5: Schedule that checkup
With hectic school schedules and extracurricular activities on hold, now is the best time to book that twice-yearly dental checkup, especially if additional procedures such as fillings are necessary.
Here at Town Center Dentistry, we want to help keep your whole family smiling bright through the summer and beyond. Give us a call to schedule your checkups today!