Summer is one of the most exciting times of the year. We spend all year looking forward to our summer vacations without realizing that they might put a glitch in our normal oral hygiene routines. Here are a few ways that you can take care of your teeth while enjoying the summer season.
Keep Up with Your Routine
Summer often comes with many more late nights than the rest of the year, but it is important to make sure that your family still brushes their teeth before bed. ADA pediatric dentist Mr. Mary Hayes reminds, “Don’t forget about your smile over the summer. It’s important for families to consistently brush and floss, which keeps kids on track for healthy back-to-school dental visits.”
Regardless of how hectic your summer might be, you need to make sure that your kids are brushing two dimes daily for at least two minutes at a time with a fluoride toothpaste. A brushing calendar is a great tool to make sure everyone remembers their oral hygiene. You can even use it as an opportunity to squeeze in some extra family time. If you brush with your kids for two minutes twice every day all summer long, you get an extra six hours of quality time with them!
It is also important that you remember to get in between your teeth for a cleaning at least once a day. Dr. Hayes says, “Your children should be flossing between any two teeth that touch. However, many kids don’t have motor skills to floss until they are over 10 years old.” If your child can’t floss on their own, try guiding them with your hands or try a variety of interdental cleaners until you find one that works for them.
Avoid Sugary Treats and Drinks
Many families find themselves outside more often during the summer and this often comes with sweet snacks and treats to beat the heat. Dr. Hayes warns, “Watch your family’s intake of lemonade, juice, and soda. Consider sugary drinks treats to enjoy once in a while and not often.” As an alternative, offer water, especially if it has fluoride, to cool your family off or milk while enjoying a meal. Also, try to avoid grazing during the summer. According to Dr. Hayes, “Taking a break from snacking is healthy for your teeth. It allows time for saliva to bathe the teeth, wash away leftover food and get stronger.”
If summer finds you at home more often, snack smarter by offering snacks only when your children say they are hungry rather than having them available throughout the day. “They’re not afraid to let you know when they want something to eat!” Dr. Hayes says.
Make a Back-To-School Dental Appointment As Soon As Possible
Some schools require that children have back-to-school dental visits once they reach a certain grade, which is a great way to make sure your child’s smile is healthy. You should try to schedule the appointment as early as possible to avoid the rush that typically comes once August rolls around. Dr. Hayes reminds parents, “We can help spot and take care of any issues, so your child doesn’t have to miss class once school starts. Visiting the dentist regularly can help your child’s smile stay healthy all year long.”
If you need to make a dental appointment but need a new Leominster MA dentist, Hallmark Dental is now accepting new patients. For more information about our dental services or to request an appointment, please contact us today!