As the days get longer and the weather gets warmer, it can only mean one thing: summer break is almost here!
With time off from school, fun outdoor activities, and sweet treats on the horizon, summer is paradise for your kids. But it can also pose some risks for their teeth.
You might’ve taken some time away from the dentist due to the pandemic. Summer is the time to get your child’s dental health back on track!
Keep your child’s teeth healthy all season long with regular care, a few tweaks to your typical routine, and a summer dental cleaning with Children’s Choice.
Summer Dental Tips for Kids
Summer might be your child’s favorite time of year, but typical warm weather activities can be detrimental to their teeth. Here’s how to protect your child’s teeth while they enjoy their favorite summer activities.
Keep Your Kids Hydrated and Eating Healthy
The trademark heat of summer can itself be damaging to teeth. While the warm weather feels great, it’s harder to stay well hydrated.
In addition to dangers for the rest of their little bodies, dehydration and dry mouth can lead to tooth decay. Your child’s saliva washes away bacteria, food, and plaque. Without it, things get stuck on their teeth, causing buildup that can lead to cavities and decay.
Make sure your child is drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated.
And while they’ll want to reach for cold treats like fruit juice, popsicles, and ice cream to cool off, those are high in sugar and risky for growing teeth. Encourage some alternatives like smoothies, fruit-infused water, and unsweetened tea. Ask your child what is most yummy to them and keep plenty of it on hand.
For snack time, offer your kids healthy snacks that are good for their teeth. With a belly full of a fruit and cheese butterfly, your child will be less tempted to reach for sugary treats or junk food.
This is especially true if your kids are running off with their friends. Independence is important, but unsupervised kids are more likely to fill up on unhealthy foods.
Make sure your kids get all the major healthy food groups in their meals at home. That way those occasional popsicles and fruit snacks won’t be the only thing they’re munching on!
Consider Their Teeth During Summertime Sports
Many kids love cooling off from hot summer weather by jumping in the pool. But unfortunately, their teeth don’t enjoy this activity as much as they do.
The chlorine used to keep pools sanitary can cause “swimmer’s mouth,” which can weaken and stain teeth. This is typically only an issue if your child is swimming many times a week for hours on end.
If your kids go swimming, have them rinse out their mouths with fresh water after getting out of the pool. If you can convince them to brush their teeth after toweling off, even better.
If your child is an avid swimmer, this is especially important. Talk to your child about why rinsing and brushing after swimming is a good idea, so they understand the importance of maintaining their oral health.
At your next cleaning, ask us how you can keep your child’s teeth safe from chlorine. You might want to consider protective treatments like sealants.
If your child is into sports, their teeth might be at risk of injury from a stray ball or accidental collision. If you’re wondering how to protect children’s teeth during high-impact activities, mouth protection — like mouth guards — are a great option.
Mouthguards reduce the risk of chipped teeth and oral injury. We recommend your kids wear them during team sports or high-energy solo activities like skateboarding. It’s an easy way to avoid chipped teeth — and the painful, expensive process of getting them fixed.
Child Dental Care Tips: Build Strong Habits
The best way to protect your child’s teeth is by helping them build lifelong dental hygiene habits. Make sure they’re brushing and flossing twice a day. If your child is reluctant, there are apps that make brushing more fun.
Talk about why dental health for kids is so important. Even if your children still have their baby teeth, now is the time to learn how to floss, brush, and go in for regular cleanings. If your child doesn’t love going to the dentist, read books that frame dental visits in a fun, positive light.
Show them how you clean your teeth so they feel inspired to mimic you. Build teeth cleaning into a routine like Brush, Book, Bed so it becomes an everyday part of your child’s life.
And schedule a summer dental cleaning with Children’s Choice to make sure their teeth are staying healthy.
Children’s Choice is Your Preferred Pediatric Dentist
As well as all the hard work you do at home to help your child protect their teeth, cleanings from a dentist are essential. We recommend coming in for a cleaning twice a year.
At your child’s dental cleaning, we’ll check for untreated cavities or gum disease, offer advice on when to start using fluoride toothpaste, and keep track of the alignment of your child’s teeth and gums.
In addition to regular cleanings and other preventative measures, we offer more extensive care including fillings, extractions, and oral surgery. We also offer pediatric aligners (available in select locations) as an alternative to traditional braces.
Many kids — including kids with special needs — find the dentist to be a stressful experience. That’s why Choice pediatric dentistry practices offer special needs dental care with options for anesthesia if your child requires it.
Give us a call so we can discuss your child’s unique needs and how we can help keep their teeth healthy. Help your kids enjoy summer while taking care of their teeth, too!