School’s almost out and that means fun in the sun for the kiddos. But summer can also put good habits from the school year, like brushing and flossing, on hold. Here are our best tips to take advantage of all that summer has to offer and to help your family keep up with their oral health!
- Stay on top of schedules. During the school year, your children have a routine that includes brushing their teeth. Over the summer, however, their routine changes and may disappear completely, making it easy for kids to get out of habits like brushing twice a day. We find that it helps many families to use a free resource like a brushing calendar from the ADA to keep track of those habits throughout the summer.
- Choose healthy snacks. What’s better on a hot day than some cold ice cream? We haven’t figured it out, but we do know that too many sugary snacks can lead to tooth decay! Stock up on fruits and veggies to give your child a better snack option than ice cream and popsicles.
- Drink more water. Limit carbonated sodas and sugary juices, and give the kids water or milk instead. In addition to helping flush away cavity-causing bacteria and freshen breath, water is also great for keeping our bodies healthy and hydrated during the hot summer months. It’s a win-win!
- Choose tap. Did you know that most cities have fluoride in the tap water? This helpful mineral can protect and even restore enamel to keep teeth strong and bright. Keep an eye on your kid’s teeth, though – too much fluoride can create brown spots on baby teeth.
- Protect your athlete’s smile! Summer sports are a whole lot of fun and go a long way for keeping kiddos active and strong, but accidents can happen. Consider a mouth guard as a preventative measure that’s worth the investment.
- Know what to do in an emergency. Poolside accidents rank at the top of emergencies seen in the dental office during summer. Make sure your kids are following “pool rules” like not running on slippery pool sides, not diving into shallow water and not roughhousing. If a dental emergency does happen, stay calm and click this link to learn how to handle a dental emergency.
- Schedule dental visits. This last tip might seem like a no-brainer, but summer is the perfect time to get dental visits out of the way! The CDC reports that 51 million school hours are missed every year for dental-related visits. Most parents actually schedule appointments in August as school is getting ready to go back into session, but it’s actually easier to set up those appointments now, before schedules get full. We’ll even make it easy on you! Click here to request your family’s dental checkup.
Activities as simple as brushing your teeth together can also double as quality time with your kids – just two minutes, twice a day over three months adds up to almost six whole hours!
No matter what you do this summer, we hope you and your family enjoy your time together choosing healthy habits!