Summer ... it's here. School's out and also out are so are many of your child's routines and limits on snacking. Let's face it, Summer is that magical time of year we all remember as kids. We got up later, stayed up late too, played more than brushed, and loved visits from the ice cream truck or visits to the freezer for an ice pop. Those same things we loved as kids, we have to be cautious of as parents. Our Kids Smiles team put together a collection of four survival tips for parents as protectors of innocent teeth.
1) Keep regular brushing and flossing a part of daily routines
Sure, there is more flexibility to when your child rises and hits the hay during the Summer, but parents still have the same obligations to encourage good dental hygiene. Brushing and flossing are just as important in the dog days of Summer.
2) Summer is a great time for dental check-ups and cleanings
With school out of the way, there is more opportunity to schedule appointments with your pediatric dentist, and possibly even more time for a rewarding trip to the park afterwards. Some outdoor fun after a trip to the dentist can be more rewarding, and more healthy than a trip to the ice cream shop, especially if paired with one of your child's favorite play dates.
3) Provide Healthy Snacks and Beverages
The most healthy beverage you can provide is fluoridated tap water. Children and adolescents also benefit from milk. Limit the sodas and sugary beverages. Even juice can be too much, when offered often with no follow-up tooth brushing. A great summer snack is watermelon which is mostly made up of water. Watermelon helps to stimulate the flow of saliva and washes away any excess food that may be stuck on your teeth. It is also packed with vitamins. Lots of summer fruit are great choices. Be careful with acidic citrus and any fruits such as blueberries or cherries that tend to stain the teeth. They are OK, but more brushing is necessary.
4) Mouth Guards Protect Teeth
If your child participates in sports such as baseball, soccer, basketball, or others with contact to foul balls, elbows, or related - consider having our Kids Smiles team produce a custom mouth guard. Accidents happen, especially during athletic activity. A mouth guard can protect your child's teeth and your pocket book. Prevention is less costly and less painful than repair.
5) Pack the Toothbrush and Floss
Bring a toothbrush and floss for your child on day and overnight trips. Brush with your child as well to set a good example and to protect your own teeth.
Wishing you and yours a very happy and healthy Summer. Our pediatric dentists and Kids Smiles team would love to see you and your child between beach days and summer fun, so keep us in your plans. Enjoy.