With summer in full swing, your family is likely busy with a new routine involving cookouts, sleepovers, camping, vacationing abroad, or even just hanging around the house and a staycation. What you’re likely not doing is getting the kids up for school and keeping to an established oral hygiene routine. No matter what your family is doing to enjoy the summer months, the more relaxed schedule shouldn’t apply to your child’s smile habits, at least if you want them to avoid tooth decay and gum disease! Here are six easy tips for keeping your child’s smile healthier this summer.
#1 No Vacation from Good Oral Hygiene
Don’t let your child take a break from their regular school year brushing and flossing routine just because it’s summer. They still need to brush twice a day for two minutes and floss between teeth once daily. No matter what time they wake up during the summer months, make sure they take time to brush in the morning and before bedtime. Set an alarm for them to brush in the morning and at night. Healthy habits followed daily can help keep away cavities and gum disease. You can make this fun by downloading a cool app on your phone or having them watch kids videos about oral health on a phone, tablet, computer, or smart TV.
#2 Summer Traveling Tips
Pack all of your oral healthcare essentials when heading out of town with your children. Tuck in the basics to make sure they are all set: a toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss, mouthwash, and orthodontic cleaning tools to keep braces, retainers, or mouth guards clean. Don’t forget an emergency kit stocked with orthodontic wax or tool to fix a broken braces wire and an emergency phone number in the area you will be visiting. When jumping timezones, make sure their morning and bedtime teeth cleaning routines are practiced!
#3 Summertime Safety Goals
If your child frequents pools to keep cool during these warmer days, remind them never to run around pool areas, jump into shallow water, or bump into pool edges (especially if they wear braces). Equip them with a sports mouthguard and helmet when engaging in sports or recreational activities. Being reminded about safety can help your child avoid injury to the mouth, chipping a tooth or even having a tooth knocked out. Emergency dental care is something you don’t want to show up on their bucket list!
#4 Summer-Healthy Foods
Being outdoors in the summer is a great way to get some Vitamin D to help your child’s growing body absorb and hold on to minerals that build the bones (like calcium and phosphorus). Vitamin C helps promote healthy gums, so be sure to include orange juice along with their milk, cereal, and yogurt for a healthier mouth. What you don’t want them overindulging in is sugary treats and drinks. A steady diet of lemonade, soda, and ice cream only increases plaque buildup and cavities. Keep healthier snacks in the fridge or a bowl on the countertop when they wander through the kitchen, looking for easy-to-grab snacks.
- Cheese, Greek yogurt
- Meat and cheese roll-ups
- Carrots, celery, peppers, broccoli
- Apples, pears, oranges, watermelon
#5 Cool Off With Water!
Water is the healthiest drink for your child’s overall and oral health. It keeps them well hydrated so their saliva levels can wash away bacteria hiding in the mouth. Tap water has the added benefit of fluoride, a mineral that strengthens tooth enamel. Minimize sugar exposure on their developing teeth such as soda, fruit juice and sports drinks. These are also acidic, which wears down tooth enamel, leaving them prone to cavities, tooth sensitivity (like popsicles), and even tooth stains.
#6 Summer Dental Cleanings & Checkups
Bringing in your child for their bi-annual checkup and cleaning couldn’t be easier than during the summer. You don’t have to worry about interfering with school or sports schedules. It is a good time to reinforce good dental hygiene habits with a visit to the dentist to take care of any problems before school starts up again. If you need to schedule your child’s next dental visit before the summer ends, give our QH Dental team a call at 949-823-0006 if you have any questions about your child’s oral health or to schedule their next appointment with our dentist, Dr. Leo Man in Irvine, California,