Protecting Your Child’s Summer Smile
Summer vacation! No more pencils, no more books – let’s have some fun, right?
For many kids, summer break is a time to sleep in, play, and maybe even bend the rules a little. Bedtime is a little later and reading is for entertainment, not education.
Here’s a caution, though! While the summer months may be laxer than the school year, now’s not the time to relax the rules when it comes to dental care. Probably not at the top of their summer to-do list, good dental hygiene is still a year-round endeavor.
Where do you start?
Instill Good Habits
Make sure teeth are brushed every morning and night – even when on vacation! If brushing isn’t possible, especially after a sweet treat, swish water around the mouth to help remove the bacteria that causes cavities.
We understand it can be a fight sometimes, but encouraging your kids to brush their teeth is an important habit to develop. Set a good example, make it fun, and reward good behavior. Your dental care team can help you create a motivating activity and teach you and your kids proper brushing technique.
Hot, sweaty kids (and adults) enjoy colas, sports drinks, and sugary drink mixes – but those beverages aren’t so great for teeth. Sugar promotes bacteria growth, which in turn, promotes cavities.
Opt for water when a cool drink is needed and try to limit between meal snacking – or at least offer other options such as fruit, whole grain crackers, cheese sticks, or nuts (if there are no allergies).
Sweet treats are fine occasionally and keep things fun; but wise food choices are so much better for teeth and overall health in general.
Avoid Dental Emergencies
With all the excess summertime energy, accidents are bound to happen. Here are a few ways to help prevent chipped, cracked, broken, and displaced teeth.
- No running at the pool!
- Helmets are a necessity for bike riding.
- Custom-fit, protective mouthguards are essential for football, softball, and basketball play.
Teaching your children to care for their teeth doesn’t just stop when school’s out, it’s a summer thing too. San Mateo Center for Cosmetic Dentistry wants your smile to be healthy and happy all year!