Summertime! It’s every kid’s favorite time of year to go outside, run the neighborhood, and take advantage of a schedule-free month or two of good old-fashioned fun. Unfortunately, that lack of schedule and impulsive daily activity is often the perfect opportunity to forget to brush their teeth, lots of activities that can cause tooth damage, and an unquenchable thirst for all things cold, frozen, sugary and sweet. So, here are a few summer time teeth tips to keep those bright smiles shining even when they start to fade away at the thought of school starting back up.
There are several ways to leave reminders about teeth brushing around the house for your children. Creating a daily chart with a weekly reward is one way to encourage younger children to brush. Simple reminders around the home help as well. Post-it notes are an easy, inexpensive choice.
In the Water
Swimming is one of the best parts of summer. However, lots of relaxing afternoons at the pool can damage your child’s teeth in different ways. First, the chemicals that are used to treat pool water can leave teeth brown and discolored. Called Swimmer’s Calculus, the discoloration is a result of the resident on the teeth mixing with chlorine.
Whether it’s a flip or a dive into the water, leaping off the diving board is one of the highlights of pool time. One slip of the foot or misplaced jump can result in tooth damage and sometimes worse. If you have a particularly clumsy child, a beginner jumper, or are particularly concerned with the possibility of damage, using a mouth guard is a great way to ensure that teeth are protected when jumping off the board.
On the Move
Summer is a time of constant movement. Whether it’s exploring the creek, going on vacation or watching local fireworks, there are a few tips you can follow to ensure that your child’s teeth stay healthy all summer long.
When you are out and about, grabbing a sugary drink or frozen ice pop full of cavity-causing sugar is an easy choice, but avoiding both and staying hydrated through sugar-free options will help to prevent tooth decay and periodontal disease.
No matter what you are doing, try to keep your child in a routine as much as possible. Even though summertime is a great opportunity to relax, cavities don’t stop growing just because it’s vacation time! Regular brushing, flossing and oral hygiene are vital to having a great, cavity-free back to school dental visit!