Summer freedom and fun can do a real number on your family’s schedules and personal habits. All that free time can specifically create havoc on oral hygiene habits. After all, sleeping in and late nights may be highlights of the season, but your kids’ teeth will likely suffer the consequences if they’re not careful. The last thing anyone wants is a mouth full of decay and potentially damaged teeth upon starting the new school year. Fortunately, it’s easy to protect your teeth if you’re diligent and follow five simple rules for summer dental care.
Go on a Dental Shopping Adventure
The American Dental Association recommends replacing your toothbrush every 3-4 months, so chances are at least someone in the household needs a new one. Even if they’re not quite worn, summer’s still a good time to reinforce the habit while focusing on the fun element. An easy way to achieve this is to take your kids shopping and let them pick out their new equipment. From superheroes to princesses or even just funky color combinations, everyone’s bound to find the perfect new toothbrush to keep their dental habits strong all summer long.
Schedule Daily Oral Health Care for the Entire Household
Most dentists agree that brushing should be done for at least two minutes twice a day. If you’re able to do it three times per day, even better. Once in the morning, or whenever they finally roll out of bed, and again at the end of the day is a good plan for ensuring it gets done. Flossing should be done once a day. Leave reminders on the refrigerator, have daily text check-ins for verification, or even create a reward chart so there are some fun prizes linked to good check-ups.
Stock Your Kitchen with Summer-Friendly Snacks
Play dates, overnights, and beach or pool adventures provide plenty of access to poor food choices and sugary treats. Candy, cookies, soda, and even a pizza binge can result in an acid attack on the teeth. But when healthy snacks and options are available at home, there’s less chance your kids will have so much junk food on their minds. Keep your refrigerator stocked with fresh produce like baby carrots, berries, and baggies of fresh goodies ready to grab and go on a moment’s notice. And encourage water and milk as their main beverage options instead of sugar-laden drinks like soda, fruit juice, and energy drinks.
Prepare and Prevent Dental Emergencies
Water fun, sports, and bike riding increase in the summer, but so do the injuries. Over 5 million teeth are avulsed annually nationwide, and many of those occur during summer play. Talk to your kids about the importance of following pool rules and street rules. Make a curfew and house rules to ensure everyone’s where they’re supposed to be at a reasonable time. And stock up on mouth guards to help avoid or minimize orofacial injuries.
Schedule Your Back-to-School Dental Visits Early
A back-to-school dental exam is a great way to ensure your kids’ teeth remain clean and strong. And some schools actually require the exam prior to returning for the school year. Regardless of whether your school requires or simply recommends the option, it’s still important to fit it into your summer schedule. But you certainly don’t have to wait until a few weeks before school resumes. Schedule your appointments early with your Moorestown Biomimetic Dentist to beat the inevitable August rush and get some tips from the pros for ensuring the entire family keeps smiling all summer long.