It’s easy to get out of your routine during the summer when the kids are home from school. Healthy choices like brushing and flossing don’t have to go by the wayside when you’re going to theme parks and enjoying some last-minute fun.
- Limit sweet treats like sodas, ice cream and slushees. These treats are packed with sugar, so make them rare treats. Oral bacteria feeds on sugar in the mouth, which can cause cavities in baby teeth and permanent teeth. Even though saliva has minerals to repair the enamel on teeth, there’s only so much your mouth can do to fight the damage sugar causes.
- Watch for added sugar in treats. Read the ingredient list before giving your children a packaged treat. You may be giving them more sugar than you realize. High protein snacks, such as cheese or nuts, provide long-lasting energy without extra sugar. Watermelon and cantaloupe are very refreshing, have a higher water content and have a type of sugar that readily absorbed by the body.
- Drink water. Water is the best source of hydration for kids and adults. It promotes salivation, which reduces the acids that accumulate in the mouth. Add flavor with fruit or herbs like your favorite restaurant does. Keep water available not only for dental health, but overall well-being all year long.
- Brush after snacks. Sure, a toothbrush seems like one more thing you have to pack, but keeping a toothbrush on hand to use after snacking keeps those pearly whites sparkly bright. Look for travel toothbrushes and toothpaste to take to the theme park or pool. Good habits now keep those baby teeth healthy.
- Maintain your healthy routine. Remember to have kids brush their teeth when they wake up and before bed. Even on those mornings when you’ve let them sleep in or when they’re staying up late, don’t forget to take care of their teeth. Younger children may still need some guidance when brushing, for example, remembering to spit out the toothpaste or assistance when flossing.
Summer is a great time to enjoy some down time from the routine, but it shouldn’t be time to slack off fighting cavities in baby teeth. Encourage good dental health for kids all summer long to keep your children’s teeth looking their best. It’s one less stress you’ll have when you bring them in for their semiannual checkup with the pediatric dentist near me. It’s easy to take a few steps every day to protect those pearly whites, but you have to make it a priority in your routine.