6 Tips for Your Child’s Healthy Summer Smile
School is out and kids (and parents) need a fun break! It can be difficult for children to remember to continue brushing during summer break, but by making oral hygiene an important habit, you can avoid any dental surprises!
1. Give your child healthy snack options!
Summer is the time for barbeques, beaching, and relaxation. This free time usually means we have more time to snack throughout the day so, plan ahead for your little ones. Choose a snack for your hungry child that is sugar-free or low-sugar if possible. Create a snack drawer with healthy options like trail mix, popcorn, and nuts. Have cut up fruits and vegetables readily available with melted cheese or salad dressing will be a fast and delicious option for a hungry child! We all enjoy a sugary snack at the pool, but the key to reducing the chance for cavities is moderation and a healthy diet.
2. Rehydrate with water!
During a hot summer, it is tempting to keep drinking cold juice, iced tea, lemonade and soda to keep hydrated. Although tasty, these beverages contain significant amounts of sugar and can cause cavities when consumed frequently. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children under six shouldn’t have more than four to six ounces of fruit juice per day. Instead, choose a glass of water or make your own flavored water by adding delicious fruits for taste. If you must have a sugary beverage, dilute them with water to reduced the amount of sugar.
3. Avoiding dental emergencies!
Summer is the time for lots of fun activities like swimming, skateboarding, bike riding, and other playground activities. Unfortunately, it is also a time for the greatest number of dental injuries, but parents can be prepared with following a few tips. First, wear a mouth guard when playing contact sports. This can help prevent chipping a tooth or knocking a tooth loose. Second, be cautious around pool areas by not running since many can be slippery. Lastly, if your child experiences a dental injury, get to the dentist right away. Primary (baby) teeth are injured should not be replaced, but permanent teeth should be replaced if possible. If not, use milk to keep it moist until you reach the dentist.
4. Protect your lips!
We may remember our sunscreen at the beach, but let’s not forget about protecting our lips! It is important to use a lip balm with SPF 15+ to avoid burns and sun damage. Remind your kids by buying them a fun, colorful lip balm so they will be fully protected.
5. Keep up the oral hygiene!
With summer vacations, camp, and countless days spent outdoors, it is easy to lose track of your daily oral hygiene schedule. Even though your summer plans may be more relaxed than your rigid school schedule, you may have to remind your child more frequently to brush and floss. Instead of sticking to a strict schedule, implement a fun way to incorporate brushing and flossing. Let your child pick out a new summer toothbrush, play fun music as your child winds down at night to get them ready to brush, and remind them that brushing is important all year round!
6. Schedule your check up early!
Now is the time to schedule your dental check up! Parents tend to make their dental check-ups at the end of summer when appointments are often booked up and kids are preparing for school. Schedule your appointment early to have a clean, healthy smile all summer! No one wants a summer vacation ruined with a toothache!