As summer nears, the school term draws to a close. In only a few months, summer will give way to school once again. How can you take care of your kids’ teeth during these next few months? Instead of making a last-minute trip to the dental clinic before school starts, you can start planning your child’s summer oral health care maintenance as early as now.
Here are a few things that you should do:
(1) Schedule an appointment with the dentist this summer
Your children should visit the dentist at least twice a year. If a dentist has yet to check your child’s pearly whites this year, have them do so during the summer and again during the winter to make sure that they are in tip-top shape. Your dentist can offer advice and products to help your child prevent tooth decay.
(2) Cut down on sugary snacks and sips
Kids expect you to become more lenient on sugary snacks and drinks this summer. As tasty as the treats are, they only leave your children more vulnerable to tooth decay once school season comes around. Instead of candies, cookies, chips, and cakes, give them fruits, nuts, and sandwiches. Explain to them the importance of drinking plenty of pure water to beat the summer heat and threats to their teeth. Follow these explanations up by enforcing the embargo against sweetened drinks.
(3) Ensure regular brushing and flossing
School or no school, your child should still brush and floss regularly to prevent cavities. Remind them of the brushing schedules they still need to follow even during the summer time. You can put up a sticker calendar where your children can mark off the days they brushed and flossed while they can also easily see if they have forgotten to brush in a day. To motivate them to brush their teeth, you can let them pick a new toothbrush or even play a two-minute tune as they brush. You can also buy them flossers that have handles to make it easier and more comfortable for them to floss regularly.
(4) Protect your child’s pearly whites from summer injuries
Summer is the season for swimming, as well as outdoor sports such as football, basketball, soccer, and skateboarding. Some of these activities can lead to accidents that could make your child lose a tooth or two, so it’s vital to have them wear protective gear.
There is a risk of skidding, falling, and bumping into other players and hard surfaces when your kids play football, hockey, skateboarding, or other contact sports. Don’t skimp on the mouth guards as these are cheaper to buy compared to having to go to the dentist to treat and replace your kids’ broken teeth. Also, have your child wear helmets, chin guards, and mouth guards before they go cycling or skating outside to protect their head, jaws, tongue, and teeth against injuries that may happen. You can ask your dentist to make a mouth guard that’s a perfect fit for your child as off-the-shelf mouth guards may not offer the best or most comfortable fit for their mouth.
While swimming at the beach or pool is a great way to cool off from the summer sun, exposure to excessive amounts of chlorine and high acidity levels of pool and seawater can lead to erosion of the enamel of your child’s teeth, making them more prone to damage, decay, and increased sensitivity. Your kids should brush with fluoride-rich toothpaste before and after they swim to help keep the calcium levels in their mouths at adequate levels. In the process, fluoride keeps their teeth healthy against acids and chlorine that would otherwise strip their teeth of valuable calcium.
Icon Dental Center is a dental office in Seattle, if you’re looking for a new local dentist in Seattle, come to visit us today!