Summer is here, and that means schedules and activities change for children. Kids aren’t going to school every day during summer break, for one, and they’re likely to be around the house more and engaging in several different habits – including those that might impact oral health.
At Salt Lake Pediatric Dentistry, we’ve seen too many cases of neglected oral care in children over the summer to let this go. Let’s go over some tips we offer to parents in terms of making sure things stay on track with mouth and gum health during the summer.
Stay Active in Oral Health
Due to schedules and routines that vary up in the summer, it can be tougher to ensure daily brushing and flossing takes place. It’s still important that kids do this at the prescribed times every day – two brushes of two minutes or more per day, and flossing once a day. Look for other ways to institute a basic schedule here, including the possibility of not allowing kids to go out and play or do other fun summer activities until they’ve completed their mouth care.
Drink More Water
One of the biggest combatants to cavities in both children and adults? Saliva. Saliva helps with chewing, swallowing and breaking down food particles that might otherwise get stuck in the teeth and lead to cavities forming.
And as it turns out, water is a huge factor in saliva formation – saliva itself is around 99 percent water, in fact. Drinking enough water will ensure kids are hydrated, for one, but will also ensure they aren’t at higher risk of cavities during the hot summer.
If you’re taking the kids on any summer vacations, make sure you pack all required items. A good mouth-healthy travel kit that contains a case, toothbrush, floss, toothpaste and floss threaders (for braces if they’re worn) is often very helpful. Also be sure to block off time on the trip for everyone in the family to handle their oral health.
Eating the Right Foods
It’s tempting to eat lots of potato chips and crackers in the summer, particularly for kids who are around the home more often and have more access to them. But these can stick to teeth, causing acid buildup that leads to cavities. Instead, encourage your kids to eat foods like fibrous vegetables (carrots and celery, for instance), which actually help clean the teeth and remove plaque buildup as they’re eaten.
For more on keeping your child’s teeth healthy during the summer, or to learn about any of our pediatric dentistry services, speak to the staff at Salt Lake Pediatric Dentistry today.