Summer is a FUN time! Everyone loves the warm, sunny days filled with food, family, and fun!
However, summer can be hard on smiles. Longer, unstructured days, family vacations, and summertime treats can take a toll on teeth!
Here are some tips to keep your dental routine looking sunny!
Tip #1: Stay on a routine
- Monitor daily brushing. Make sure that children follow the 2×2 dental care rule (brush 2 times a day for 2 minutes each time).
“Don’t forget about your smile over the summer,” says ADA pediatric dentist Dr. Mary Hayes. “It’s important for families
to consistently brush and floss, which keeps kids on track for healthy back-to-school dental visits.”
- Encourage flossing!
“Your children should be flossing between any two teeth that touch,” Dr. Hayes says. “However, many kids don’t have motor skills to floss until they are over 10 years old.” If your child needs help, try different types of interdental cleaners or put your hands over theirs to guide them and get the job done at the same time.
Teeth brushing charts are a great way to stay on track during the summer!
Tip #2: Limit sugary drinks and snacks
- Sipping or snacking all day leads to tooth decay. Ice cream, snow cones, cotton candy, and other summer treats are a big part of summer but limit them to mealtimes. Be sure to brush after sticky, sweet foods.
“Watch your family’s intake of lemonade, juice, and soda,” says Dr. Hayes. “Consider sugary drinks treats to enjoy once in a while, and not often.” Instead, offer water (even better if it has fluoride) to beat the heat, or milk to drink with meals. And, don’t let summertime grazing damage your child’s smile. “Taking a break from snacking is healthy for your teeth,” says Dr. Hayes. “It allows time for saliva to bathe the teeth, wash away leftover food and get stronger.”
- Offer alternatives to sugary snacks and drinks at BBQ’s and parties- a vegetable tray, water, and healthy foods are a great addition to any get-together!
Tip #3: Schedule cleanings and Back-To-School Checkups during the summer
- Summer is a great time for cleanings and back to school checkups for a lot of reasons!
- Family schedules tend to be more relaxed in the summer. The flexibility makes summer a great time to schedule cleanings and checkups! It is also a great time to avoid the August rush.
- Children don’t have to miss school for appointments in the summer.