Summertime is full of fun and adventures for children, but a lot of dangers lurk in the summer months that can affect your child’s oral health. If you want to better protect your child’s teeth and gums this summer, check out these four tips you should follow.
- Stick With Healthy Drinks
Summer can get hot, which makes drinks like soda and juice all the more appealing, but sugary drinks are terrible for your kid’s teeth because sugar attracts bacteria, which leads to tooth decay. Some drinks such as soda and orange juice are also high in acid. This acid is strong enough to soften your child’s tooth enamel, and without strong enamel, bacteria easily penetrate.
Whenever possible, stick with healthy beverage options, such as water or unsweetened tea. Not only will these better hydrate your child but they will actually help wash away some bacteria and sugar. In fact, if you do let your child indulge in a sugar or acidic beverage, drinking water or rinsing their mouth out after is a great idea.
- Stock Up on Healthy Snacks
Summer can also have your children looking for unhealthy snacks. Not only does the heat make ice cream a common target, but lack of structure and the fun of not being in school may have kids want to snack a little more often. To counteract this, stock your home full of healthy snacks so you always have something healthy ready.
The best kinds of healthy snacks are natural like fruits and vegetables, which can provide some sweetness without a ton of sugar. Harder fruits and veggies like apples and carrots are particularly good because they can actually help remove some plaque as your child eats.
- Use Protection for Summer Activities
The summertime may also mean more activities and sports, so make sure your child is prepared. First, always make sure your child has supervision and knows the rules of the game or sport. For example, teaching your child not to run around a pool will help prevent slips and falls, which could result in tooth trauma or loss if your child hits their face or mouth.
If your child participates in sports like football, soccer, or hockey, you may want to invest in a good mouth guard. Mouth guards fit your child’s teeth to protect your child from trauma if they fall or are hit. If your child is a swimmer, make sure they don’t have exposure to too much chlorine, as it can lead to a type of discoloration known as swimmers calculus.
- Don’t Forget a Dental Visit
Many parents take their child to the dentist near the end of summer to make sure they are ready for a new school year. However, you might want to have that appointment right after your child gets out of school for the summer. This reduces the risk of complications when you and your family may be away on vacation.
Regardless of when you schedule the visit, however, the most important thing is that you take your child to the appointment. Even if they don’t have their permanent teeth yet, these early visits are imperative for preventing future complications when permanent teeth do begin to emerge.
The summertime is exciting for children because they have fewer responsibilities, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t continue to have structure and a good oral hygiene plan. Encourage your child to choose healthy beverages and snacks, and always monitor them when playing sports.
If you would like to know more about how to protect your child’s teeth during the summer or all year, contact us at Crest Hill Family Dental today.