California’s summer sun brings a lot of summer fun! The combination of perfect weather, no homework, and more free time results in endless entertainment for your kiddos. Sometimes the freedom and joy that comes with the season can make it harder to stick to daily routines. It’s really important your children stay on top of healthy dental habits this summer. Today we are covering five great tips on how to help your child’s teeth stay healthy all summer long.
1. Follow a Brushing & Flossing Schedule
The school year comes with many routines, even for us parents, so it’s easier to remember to brush and floss every day. While summer brings more flexible schedules, it’s still important to keep a daily oral hygiene routine. In just one summer, poor oral hygiene can quickly lead to problems like cavities and periodontal disease.
One of the best ways to help your child keep their teeth and gums healthy is to make sure they brush every morning and night and floss at least once a day. While this routine may be connected to getting ready for the school day, its easy to add it to a list of summer taks too. Add brushing and flossing to simple tasks like making their bed or cleaning up breakfast. For younger children you can create a tooth brushing calendar. For older kids, help them set phone reminders each day.
2. Provide Healthy Snacks
As a parent, we tend to become more lax on having our kids eat healthy in the summer. It’s tempting to get ice cream, popsicles, or sweet treat to stay cool. But remember, bacteria doesn’t take a summer vacation. While sugar interacts with the bacteria in your child’s mouth, it forms plaque which coats teeth and causes cavities. Eating healthy is a crucial element to encourage good dental health.
Here are some things you can do to encourage your child to eat healthily:
- Choose a wide variety of tooth-friendly foods like fresh fruits, vegetables, string cheese, yogurt, and plain nutes.
- Make fruits, vegetables and healthy snacks readily available and easily accessible.
- Let your child help with meal planning, grocery shopping and cooking. Children are more likely to eat what they help prepare.
3. Choose Water Instead of Sugary and Sports Drinks
When your kids are thirsty, offer them plenty of water. It’s the most hydrating and most healthy for their teeth. Juice, soda and sports drinks contain a lot of sugar. The sugar in these drinks mix with the naturally occurring bacteria in their mouth and creates an acid. This acid can wear away tooth enamel which in turn can lead to tooth decay. Opting for a glass of water over sports drinks or other sugary drinks can go a long way in preventing dental problems.
4. Prepare for Dental Emergencies
Whether your child is in summer camp, at the beach, or just enjoying much-needed free time, chances are they’re playing outside. While games of tag and sports are a great way to get exercise, they also increase the risk of a dental emergency. If your child plays contact sports, make sure they wear a mouthguard to prevent the risk of tooth damage or loss. More on this topic in our other blog post.
Dental emergencies can happen anytime, anywhere, even on vacation. If an emergency does happen, it’s important to be prepared. Read up on what to do so you feel fully prepared for a dental emergency
5. Schedule Your Back-to-School Dental Visit Early
It’s easier to schedule check ups during the summer. Once kids are back in school, schedules become increasingly busy with extracurricular activities. Appointments fill up fast in late August and September due to the back to school rush, so go ahead and sneak in early for your child’s checkup. At Hersch Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics, our team is ready to answer questions, address concerns and make sure that your child’s smile is happy and healthy. Schedule an appointment today or call us at 949.644.0611.