The summer is great for relaxation and recreation, but it’s not always so good for the kids’ teeth. What tends to happen is that the “vacation” in summer vacation causes you and your kids to put rules and schedules aside. If you let them, your kids could adopt some habits that lead to poor oral health.
Here are a few mistakes to avoid while your kids are spending time off from school this summer:
1) Trauma from Physical Activity
As fun as it is to get rough with each other, kids sometimes push it a little too far. Sports, swimming, and playing are just a few physical activities that could lead to an oral injury. The roughhousing could lead to a tooth being chipped, loosened, or knocked out altogether! For sports like football or soccer, it might be a good idea to get your kids mouthguards for extra safety.
Don’t keep them from having fun, but remind the kids that there are ground rules and they can’t get too rough. If you can keep an eye on them, that’s always a good idea as well. Just don’t forget to have fun with them!
2) Frequent Snacking
Summer is hot, and everyone loves indulging in a cool, sweet treat to beat the heat! Unfortunately, sweet treats like slushies, Icees, milkshakes, popsicles, and ice cream are loaded with sugar and prone to stick to your teeth!
Encourage your kids to exercise moderation when indulging in these types of snacks, and remind them of one simple but important tip: after you’re done with one of these treats, make sure you at least rinse your mouth out with water. That will minimize the damage and help keep your teeth healthy. Don’t forget to inspect their mouths each day to see how well they’re brushing.
As long as they keep it to a minimum and remember to rinse or brush afterwards, they can have their ice cream cake and eat it too!
3) Lax Schedule away from Home
When the kids are away at Grandma’s or summer camp or a friend’s house, they might make poor food choices or forget their morning and evening routines. It’s easy for everyone to forget their routines while in different surroundings, but especially for younger kids.
If you provide them with travel items like toothbrushes, floss, and mouthwash, it’ll be easier for them to keep on top of their oral health routines. A friendly reminder wouldn’t hurt, either!
In the end, you can remember how to avoid these mistakes with my world-famous SMILE formula:
Inspect your child’s brushing
Laugh, love, live
Don’t forget to SMILE this summer!
~ Dr. Rhea Haugseth