Summer break doesn’t have to mean a break from your child’s oral hygiene routine. Just because they’re no longer following a consistent school day schedule – shower, eat breakfast, brush teeth, and scramble out the door – there are ways to make sure your child keeps their healthy smile all summer long!
Tip #1: Create Your Own Summer Routine
It can seem like every day is different on summer break – sleepovers, sports camps, late nights – which can make it difficult for you and your child to keep track of when teeth are brushed. Think about creative ways to trigger a reminder about brushing. Maybe it’s that every morning when the breakfast dishes are cleared, you reiterate that it’s “toothbrush time”. Or, maybe this summer it’s time for a fun new toothbrush that your child will be excited to use, like an electric toothbrush that plays a song while they brush.
Tip #2: Schedule a Dental Check-Up
Children should see their dentist at least twice a year (every six months). With busy schedules in the school year, the start of summer break can be the perfect time to schedule that next check-up. A visit to the dentist will flag any issues with your child’s health – like new cavities – and be a fresh reminder to them of the importance of brushing and flossing teeth twice a day.
Tip #3: Buy Teeth-Friendly Foods
The types of food you buy for your child can also impact their oral health. We all know that sweets are detrimental to teeth, but in addition to limiting the intake of things like ice cream and popsicles this summer, you can also buy foods that proactively support oral health. For example, cheese and yogurt are rich in protein and calcium, which protect enamel health. Carrots and apples can be helpful as well. When your child eats apples and carrots, salvia is created in the mouth, helping to wash away bacteria that’s collected inside. The texture of apples and carrots also help stimulate the gums.
Tip #4: Keep an Eye on the Soda
Soft drinks are full of sugar and highly acidic – a perfect recipe for cavity creation and enamel deterioration. Soft drink consumption can spike in the summertime, so try to avoid having soft drinks around the house. To satisfy your child’s craving for sweet drinks, consider healthier alternatives like water with lemon or strawberries.
Tip #5: Get Your Child a Travel Set
Make it easy for your child to keep up with their oral hygiene routine while they’re on the go this summer with a toothbrush travel kit! Buy a travel-sized toothbrush, toothpaste, and dental floss in a small kit that your child can put in their overnight bag. This makes sticking to their regular habits easier, as everything they need is in a handy bag right with them.
For more tips on how to promote good dental hygiene with your child, or to schedule their next visit, reach out to Allegiance Dental Associates today!
Daniel Hoch, DDS
Allegiance Dental Associates
2021 A Emmorton Road, Suite 222
Bel Air, Maryland 21015