As a Hazel Dell kids’ dentist, Dr. Lubisich understands just how exciting the idea of summertime fun can be for children. While the warm, sunny Oregon months make the perfect time for families to spend time together vacationing, summer travel plans can also throw off the regular dental care routines that helps keep your kids looking and feeling their best. Here are a few ways you can help prevent summertime tooth decay:
Keep Up the Daily Routine
Whether your kids get to stay up late to watch a little extra TV or to catch a breathtaking fireworks display, it’s important that parents resist the temptation of letting their kids skip brushing before a late bedtime or let it slide after sleeping late the next day. Unfortunately, letting oral hygiene habits slip during the summer makes it hard for parents to get their kids back on track once school starts. It’s important that families keep consistent when it comes to brushing and flossing so they stay on track for healthy back-to-school visits.
No matter how busy the summer months may become, parents need to take the time to supervise their kids’ brushing habits to ensure they spend at least two minutes, twice a day brushing with a toothpaste that contains fluoride. Brushing calendars, which allow kids to mark off when they’ve brushed in the morning and again before bed, can help keep families on the right oral hygiene track. Plus, supervising your kids brushing also provides additional time families can spend together. If you spend four minutes brushing with your kids a day over the next 12 weeks, you’ll have added an additional six hours of quality time together.
Of course, brushing is only part of the battle against tooth decay. It’s also important that kids floss at least once a day. Kids need to floss between any two teeth that touch. However, most kids under the age of 10 don’t yet possess the motor skills to properly floss on their own. This is where mom or dad need to step in and provide a little oral hygiene assistance.
Stay Away from the Sugary Snacks
As the weather grows warmer, it’s common for families to indulge in a number or sugary snacks while at an amusement park, baseball game, music festival, or just out for ice cream. Parents need to make sure their kids don’t enjoy too much of a good thing. Monitoring and limiting the intake of items like soda, lemonade, funnel cake, and other summer treats is important in order to lower the risk of tooth decay and cavities. Often water is the best solution for keeping your kids hydrated when enjoying outside activities in the heat.
If your family finds itself spending more time at home, take the opportunity to have your kids snack smarter. Rather than offering your kids Goldfish or a small sandwich for a snack, try fresh fruits and vegetables instead. Not only are these healthier alternatives, they also have a higher water count, which helps keep your kids hydrated.
Schedule Your Back-to-School with Your Hazel Dell Kids’ Dentist Early
With some schools requiring children receive a clean bill of dental health before starting school in the fall, it’s important to schedule your kids’ appointments well in advance. The start of the school year marks one of our busiest times of the year, which can make finding an appointment time challenging for parents who wait till the last minute to schedule.
It’s important that kids start the school year off enjoying good oral health. Dental appointments to deal with toothaches and cavities can cause kids to miss class. In fact, one recent study found that elementary students miss 2.1 days a year due to dental problems. To help keep your kids in class and to have a great looking smile on picture day, it’s important that regular dental care becomes just as much a part of their routine as brushing and flossing, no matter the time of year.