Schools out and summers in! Everyone is ready for the summer sun and vacations, but summer fun can easily throw off your regular dental routine. Here are a few tips to prevent tooth decay during the summertime:
1.Keep up with your routine
Late summer nights often cause you to forget about brushing before bed, and you’re tempted to let it slide when your kids sleep in the next morning. “Don’t forget about your smile over the summer,” says ADA pediatric dentist Dr. Mary Hayes. “It’s important for families to consistently brush and floss, which keeps kids on track for healthy back-to-school dental visits.” Regardless of the busy summer months to come, it is important to keep your children on track- brushing twice a day for at least 2 minutes using fluoride toothpaste. Creating reminders like brushing calendars can help everyone to stay on routine. It also helps if you brush alongside your child, this way you can make sure your child stays on track, and you can make sure there are brushing correctly! Also, don’t forget to floss once a day. “Your children should be flossing between any two teeth that touch,” Dr. Hayes says. “However, many kids don’t have motor skills to floss until they are over 10 years old.” If your child needs help, try different types of interdental cleaners or put your hands over theirs to guide them and get the job done at the same time.
2.Avoid sugary drinks and snacks
“Watch your family’s intake of lemonade, juice and soda,” says Dr. Hayes. “Consider sugary drinks treats to enjoy once in a while, and not often.” While you and your children snack during tournaments, and summer festivals, try to not give them too much sugar. Offer water on those hot days instead, or even milk after meals. Dr. Hayes says, ““Taking a break from snacking is healthy for your teeth, It allows time for saliva to bathe the teeth, wash away leftover food and get stronger.” For those who stay home most summer days, try to snack less and snack smarter. Let your children tell you when they’re hungry, rather than offering snacks so often. This will also help you save money throughout the summer.
3.Schedule back-to-school dental visits early
Getting dental check-ups before sending your child back to school is a requirement for some schools. This is a good way to ensure that your child’s teeth stayed healthy during the summer. Try to schedule the back-to-school appointment early, as this will help you avoid the August rush, and assures that you get the time and day that works best for you and your children. Scheduling check-ups before school will also help to avoid having to take your child out of school for any dental issues. Get in the habit of regular dental visits, this will guarantee that your child’s smile will stay healthy all year long.