As the summer break approaches, days of swimming, sleeping in and outdoor games are just around the corner for your kids. However, just because they get a break from school routine, shouldn’t mean they take a break from their dental hygiene routine. In fact, you may have to put forth some extra effort a parent this summer to ensure your child’s oral health isn’t compromised. Keep in mind that a few weeks of high sugared foods and missed brushing sessions can lead to harmful decay to begin the next school year.
Here are 5 tips to maintain a healthy smile and still enjoy the summer fun:
#1 Don’t change your oral hygiene routine. For kids, the summer schedule can be drastically different than other months of the year. It can include late nights, sleepovers, parties and sleeping in. Make sure your child understands the importance of brushing twice a day and flossing every day despite the disruption in routine.
#2 Drink more water. The summer heat requires kids to stay more hydrated. However, be careful about relying on sports drinks to hydrate. These drinks are very high in sugar and acids, which can wreak havoc on your child’s smile in terms of decay, sensitivity and staining. Instead, consider good old fashion H20 to quench your child’s thirst. Frequent sip of water can also be beneficial in washing away those extra treats and carbohydrate-rich snacks that are often consumed during the summer.
#3 Stay safe at the pool. Most kids spend the majority of their summer days around a pool. While the extra exercise and Vitamin D is great for the body, the pool can be a risky place for oral accidents. In fact, according to the Academy of General Dentistry, many of the summer oral injuries dentists treat are due to a pool accident. Running on slippery pool decks, diving into shallow waters or bumping the pool ledge with their mouth causes many children to either chip or knock a tooth loose. Stress the importance of pool safety in your family!
#4 Pack an emergency dental kit for vacations. Taking family trips is a highlight of summer break. However, don’t forget to pack a kit that is specially equipped to handle unexpected dental emergencies. This may include gauze, ibuprofen and a small container with a lid in case of a broken or knocked out tooth. If your child is in braces, your emergency kit may also need extra wax and other tools to temporarily repair a broken wire.
#5 Don’t cancel your routine dental visits. We know that summer can quickly get busy with camps, ballgames and trips. However, if it is time for your child to visit the dentist for a routine checkup and cleaning, try your best to keep the appointment. This is a great time to take advantage of preventative dental care without your child missing school.
At Georgia Orthodontics & Children’s Dentistry, we want our young patients to have a fun and laid back summer break. However, we also want to do our part to make sure that summer fun doesn’t come at the expense of your child’s oral health. If you have further questions or need an emergency pediatric dentist near Milton this summer, please give us a call!