Relaxed schedules, outdoor activities, increased snacking, and quick on-the-go meals … all of these can lead to neglected oral health routines.
To keep your child’s smile healthy, be aware of these dental threats:
1. Slack Schedules
Staying up late may lead to your child skipping their normal brushing and flossing. Make sure they are at least doing these twice a day…first thing in the morning and last thing at night.
2. Sugary Stuff
Popsicles, sodas, ice cream…all the good things of summer can be bad for little (and not-so-little) mouths. Be aware of your child’s diet throughout the summer months and offer healthy alternatives. Freeze grapes, offer ice-cold watermelon on a stick, or substitute yogurt with sprinkles for high-sugar ice cream. Offer ice water infused with strawberries, kiwi, and/or lemon. Have snack-sized veggies cut up and readily available in the refrigerator.
3. Mealtime Mania
When it’s too hot to eat or meals aren’t planned, this is when snacking becomes an issue. Plan a healthy breakfast and then pack nutritious foods in coolers for on-the-go activities.
4. Smile Injuries
Organized summer sports –- or even just summer playtime -– can put your child’s mouth at risk for injury. Make sure mouth guards are provided for certain sports and emphasize safety in areas where there can be slips, falls, and dangerous play. If a mouth injury does occur, call the dentist or doctor as soon as possible and get the correct information on whether the boo-boo could impact their oral health.
Remind happy campers to pack floss, toothbrush, toothpaste, retainers, etc. You know how hard it is to monitor them at home? It’s even harder when they are away. Summer camp, sleepovers, and even visits with grandparents are times that you need to remind your kids why you make them do those things. Hopefully, if the habit is established early, they will only need a little nudge. And remember, teens, are usually WORSE than little ones when it comes to these things. Don’t forget to remind your older kids, too!