1-2-3 SUMMER CHECKLIST FOR HEALTHY TEETHSummer is here, and with it, the potential for additional risks for tooth decay. Help the kids stay on top of their oral hygiene with these three must-dos for healthy summertime teeth:

1. Anticipate Late Nights. When the kids have the opportunity to sleep in, they may be allowed a later bedtime, too. This means things like late-night movies, after which they’ll want to go straight to bed without brushing. Anticipate the tiredness. One idea is to hold an intermission. After the popcorn and hot cocoa, hit the pause button and ask them to their teeth—before the movie ends.

2. Anticipate the Sugar Cravings. On a hot day, what sounds better than ice cream or an ice-cold lemonade? You may be a little more lenient with sweets on these carefree days, especially if you’re spending the day at a festival, the poolside, or amusement park. Anticipate the sugar cravings by packing healthy snacks like refreshing, sliced watermelon, cold bottled water, and maybe even some xylitol gum to chew between meals.

3. Prevent Dental Emergencies. Bike rides and slippery pool areas can lead to falls and tooth injuries. Play it safe by going over the rules, such as staying in the safe lane and walking instead of running on wet surfaces, before you take a ride or swim.

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