Summer is here and with it usually comes a busy schedule that can be hectic at times. Eating right and maintaining good oral hygiene can be difficult at best and nearly impossible at worst. Throw kids in the mix and you have your work cut out for you!
Here are a few oral health tips from your Westminster Dentist that will help you protect you and your children’s teeth.
Most important, keep up on the oral hygiene!
Brushing and flossing twice a day is just as important during the summer as any other time of the year. However, with vacations, camps and lots of days spent at the pool and park, don’t be surprised if you need to remind your kids to brush and floss more than you usually do. At the end of a long, busy day, the last thing you or your children want to do is fight over having to brush and floss teeth before going to bed.
Now is a good time to replace old toothbrushes. A new toothbrush may help keep the kids interested in using it!
Schedule check-ups early.
Parents tend to schedule dental check ups at the end of summer in August, right before school starts. But to prevent dental problems over the summer and to ensure a timely spot in your dentist’s busy schedule, aim for the beginning of summer if possible. The last thing you want to deal with is a child or adult with a toothache while away on vacation, or trying to fit dental check ups into the first week of school.
Keep healthy snacks stocked in the kitchen.
Keep summer from being a “sugar attack” on your family’s teeth by supplying healthy snacks. It is hard to limit your kids snacking when they are home all day, but if they are snacking on healthy fruits and vegetables, you don’t need to worry about their oral health nearly as much. Limiting the amount of candy, cookies and chips that come into your home for snacking, along with sugary drinks, will go a long way towards preventing cavities. Crunchy fruits and vegetables are best, as they have a cleaning effect on the teeth and bottled water is better than fruit juices and sugary sodas.
Prevent dental accidents and emergencies.
Summer is full of activity, swimming, bike riding, volleyball, softball and other playground activities. These are always fun activities, but unfortunately they sometimes result in a dental injury. Be prepared for the worst by keeping these tips in mind:
- Make sure your family follows the pool rules. Many summer oral injuries are do to a pool accident. Running on slippery pool decks, bumping the pool edge with their mouth and diving into shallow water causes many children to either chip or knock a tooth loose.
- Knowing what to do in these situations is important. Getting to a dentist right away is important, especially if a tooth is knocked out. Use warm water to clean an injury and an ice pack to reduce swelling. If possible place a lost tooth back into the mouth where it came out. If not, place the tooth in a small cup of milk or salt water for the ride to the dentist.
- A few dental first aid supplies to have on hand are gauze, a small container with a lid, ibuprofen and your dentist’s contact information.
Summer can throw your daily routine for a loop. By following these tips you can prevent injuries and oral health problems leaving you free to enjoy a busy, fun summer.