Summer Vacation Dental Care
School is out of session and your children are ready for a long, much-needed summer break. Adjusting to time outside of their normal school routine can be tough for kids, and your increasingly busy schedule can at times feel like chaos, causing some healthy habits to fall to the wayside.
Keeping up with your child’s dental health, however, should not take a backseat this summer. Here are a few simple ways you can incorporate good, healthy, habits into your school break schedule:
Stick to a Routine
During the school year, your kids are used to waking up, eating, studying, doing chores, and sleeping at the same time every day. During summer break, they lose a bit of this structure, allowing for different behaviors to set in. While you may have a different summer activity planned every day, try your best to encourage a routine for certain things like brushing teeth (two times a day!), eating meals, and drinking water.
Stock Up on Healthy Snacks
Whether kids are hungry at different times because of increased activity, or they simply are looking for a snack out of boredom, you can expect an increase in snacking over summer break. While occasional treats are alright, it is important to keep a supply of healthy snacks that promote good dental health. Some smile-friendly treats include:
- Fruits and veggies - many are high in fiber, filling, and the crunchier options will help scrub away at plaque.
- Yogurt and cheese - filled with calcium, vitamin D, and increase saliva production.
- Peanut butter - a great source of fiber and protein.
- Low-sugar popsicles - gives them a frozen treat on a hot day without all the added sugar!
- Nuts - almonds, peanuts, or cashews.
- Hummus and pita bread.
These will not only satisfy their snacking desire, but will also give them the energy they need to continue with their summer fun!
Did you know that drinking water directly impacts your teeth? Saliva helps wash away plaque and a dry mouth will only encourage bacterial growth. With warmer temperatures and increased time spent outdoors, it is important to keep your children hydrated over summer break.
Lemonade, juice, and soda are popular over the summer, but saying no to these sugary drinks will help your child’s dental health immensely. Satisfy their sweet craving by infusing water with berries or lemons!
Don’t forget about toothbrush care over the summer. Your toothbrush should be changed every three to four months, making the beginning of summer break the perfect time to start fresh. Make sure everyone’s toothbrush is stored upright and in a cabinet if possible to avoid exposure to bathroom germs.
If you’re planning a family vacation, be sure you’re storing everyone’s toothbrushes properly. Try not to pack it while it’s wet, as this encourages bacteria growth, and don’t leave it in a closed container for longer than necessary. When you return home, it may be a good idea to replace everyone’s toothbrushes to get a clean start!
With all the BBQ’s and parties this summer comes a long list of foods that aren’t always braces-friendly. If your child has braces, avoid corn on the cob, meat on the bone, popcorn, and other sticky or crunchy foods.
When traveling, or even on a day trip, make sure you bring along a braces kit complete with orthodontic wax, toothpaste and a toothbrush, and floss.
Keep Up With Dental Visits
Dental health is important year-round! We know your summer schedule can get busy, but don’t forget about scheduling your dental appointments for the whole family. Remember, your child should be visiting the dentist every six months to allow for regular dental care, monitoring, and x-rays.
Total Kids Dental goes above and beyond for our patients, ensuring a welcoming, relaxed environment and expert care from dentists who are gentle, fun, and honest. Give us a call today at (602) 610-0338, or contact us online to schedule your child’s next visit before your summer fun kicks in!