Summer sun brings summer fun! While warm months are perfect for spending family time together, summer vacation can also throw off your usual dental routine. Here are three ways to prevent summertime tooth decay:
- Stay on a routine
Whether your kids are staying up to catch fireflies or a fireworks show, resist the temptation to skip brushing before a late bedtime—or let it slide when they sleep in the next morning. It’s important for families to stick to an oral hygiene routine that’s consistent. This will help keep kids on track for healthy back-to-school dental visits.
No matter how eventful the summer months become, supervise that they are brushing twice a day for 2 minutes with fluoride toothpaste. Simple things like setting a reminder on your phone can help everyone stay on track throughout the summer. Plus, you can use the opportunity to spend some family time together. Brushing alongside your children for 2 minutes, twice a day for the three months of summer gives you 6 extra hours together, so make the most of them!
And don’t forget to clean between those teeth once a day. Many little ones do not yet have the dexterity and fine motor skills to floss on their own. If your child needs help, try different types of interdental cleaners or put your hands over theirs to guide them and get the job done at the same time.
- Say no to sugary drinks and snacks
As the temperature rises, it’s common for families to sip and snack during sports tournaments, while at the pool, or at the playground. Watch your family’s intake of lemonade, juice, and soda. Consider sugary drinks treats to enjoy once in a while, and not often. Instead, offer water to beat the heat, or milk to drink with meals. And, don’t let summertime grazing damage your child’s smile. Taking a break from snacking is healthy for your teeth. It allows time for saliva to clean the teeth and wash away any unwanted leftover food particles.
- Make your back-to-school dental visit early
Some schools require back-to-school dental visits for certain grades, and these checkups can be a good way to be sure your child’s teeth are healthy. It is a good idea to make your child’s back-to-school appointment early in the summer to avoid the August rush and help insure you get the appointment time that works best for you. We love to coordinate appointments with families so that your children don’t have to miss class or after-school activities once the school year has begun. Visiting the dentist regularly can help your child’s smile stay strong and healthy all year long!
Visit http://www.mouthhealthy.org for more insightful tips on how to keep you and your family’s smiles looking their best!