Ah, summer is finally here!
It’s time to say goodbye to school and hello to fun! Summers are great for sleeping in, relaxing by the pool, and spending time with family. However, in the absence of the regular school schedule, later nights, sleepovers, and vacations, kids can slip out of their oral care routines.
Here are some tips from our pediatric dentists to keep your child’s teeth sparkling and healthy all summer:
STOCK UP ON DENTAL SUPPLIES
Don’t forget to pack dental essentials for your vacation. It’s exasperating to realize that you forgot your child’s toothbrush, and if there is no place to buy one (think campground!), you may go a day/night without brushing. Consequently, the gates to tooth decay open, which can cause problems for your child’s teeth and gums. Try to get a mini travel case and fill it with toothbrushes, floss, toothpaste, etc.
PREPARE FOR SLEEPOVERS
No summer is complete without sleepovers! Unfortunately, amidst all the fun and pillow throwing, your child could forego their brushing routine. Ensure that you pack a toothbrush along with the sleeping bag and Legos. Moreover, you could also call in to make sure that your child brushes.
It might seem silly placing such a high emphasis on brushing. Well, better brush now than pay visits to the dentist, right? Doing this will teach your child the importance of oral care that will follow them throughout their lifetime.
BUY HEALTHY SUMMER SNACKS
Having your kids home all day means more snacking opportunities. It’s easy to flood the pantry with chips and candy. However, these processed foods can easily cause mayhem on kids’ teeth.
As a general tip, look to avoid acidic, starchy, or sugary food items. Also, close the gates down on gummy candy. Such foods stick on to your child’s teeth, thus inviting bacteria and possible tooth decay. And if your child is undergoing orthodontic care, these foods are certainly a “no-no.” Stock your refrigerator with fresh fruits and vegetables, and make healthy snacking seem like a cool thing.
EXPECT LATER BEDTIMES
Television or video games could easily translate to later bedtimes. Later bedtimes could lead to oral care ignorance and the birth of a new bad habit.
During the night, the saliva production decreases. Saliva is the mouth’s natural defender against bacteria and washes off food remnants. If you skip brushing, the bacteria create plaque, and having plaque buildup can cause a number of oral health problems. The more your child skips brushing, the more plaque buildup intensifies and leads to tartar formation. As a result, cavities can enter, and so does possible pain and discomfort.
Ensure that your child always brushes before going to bed. That’s the easiest way to avoid any tooth decay and extra dental visits.
MAKE A SUMMER END DENTAL CHECKUP
If your child isn’t due for their six-month dental appointment after the summer months, and you think they may have a tooth issue, call us to schedule a dental checkup so that we can stop any further issues or fix ones that may already exist. Your child’s teeth will be healthy and ready for the next challenge: School.
SUMMING IT UP
No matter what season, early oral health care is essential. Creating and maintaining an oral health care routine is important for both your child’s short and long-term health. Following simple tips like packing dental essentials, snacking healthy, brushing twice a day, and visiting a pediatric dentist are quite effective in protecting your child’s teeth all summer and beyond.
If it’s been more than six months since your child has had a dental checkup, please call us to schedule an appointment!