Summertime is here, and for many of our children and young people, this is one of the best parts of the year. School’s out, the beach and pool are open, and even if they’re just exploring their own neighborhoods with friends a sense of adventure fills the air. However, in the midst of all the fun and games and Fourth of July fireworks, it’s important to remember that a few things are both ongoing and abiding. One of them is the need for consistent and effective oral health. Keeping your kids on track for taking care of their teeth may seem like a daunting task during the fun and chaos of summer, but it’s possible! Keeping your kids’ teeth healthy all summer is achievable with a little creativity and parenting know-how.
The primary thing to keep in mind is that the foundations of good oral health remain the same during the summer or on vacation. The basics always apply, and the big ones for young people are maintaining a regular and effective brushing and flossing routine. With schedules disrupted via the end of school, vacation travel, and all the other fun summer brings, it can be easy to let a lot of things slide. Dental care can’t be among them, so no matter what maintaining brushing and flossing routines is a must for summer oral health care.
Another foundational aspect of oral health is diet, and summertime is problematic for getting children to eat healthily. Snow cones, Ice cream trucks, and pizza are some favorite summertime foods and while they’re fine in moderation they’re not the best thing for your teeth in the long term. What we recommend is a compromise: keep healthy foods and snacks available as well as alternatives to sugary beverages like soda. By making sure good foods are around occasionally helping your kids to enjoy them–we recommend enthusiasm, eg “Try this watermelon, it’s really delicious”–you’ll be keeping them on track for a (mostly) healthy summertime diet.
A final major consideration is a safety. Summertime is filled with fun outdoor play and activities, which in turn may present numerous opportunities for chipped, cracked, and broken teeth due to accident and misadventure. This sort of damage is permanent in the sense that it can’t heal on its own and will require a dental prosthesis of some sort in order to repair. With that in mind, the best cure remains prevention. This can be easier said than done with teenagers, but insisting on safe play, the use of helmets and mouthguards where appropriate, and some level of adult supervision during summertime fun is another big step in keeping your kid’s teeth healthy this summer.
As we’re sure you’ve noticed, a big part of this is maintaining healthy habits throughout the summer. In doing so, you’ll not only be keeping your children’s teeth healthy all summer long, but helping them build lifelong good habits and thus lifelong dental health. It’s one of the best health-related gifts you can give your children, so the extra work it takes this summer will be worth it in the end.
Summertime is also a great time to catch up on other things, like dental appointments for exams or cleanings. If you or your kids are due for a dentist visit, get in touch today and we’ll help make the appointment and get you in to see us!