A healthy mouth’s best friend is a strict routine—always remembering to brush, floss, and take care of your teeth throughout the day. But this routine can easily be completely thrown off by summer free time and vacation. Here are a few tips to keep up these good habits during the busy summer months!
Keep Your Dental Health Routine
When your kids are staying up late to see fireworks or watch movies, it can be easy to skip brushing before bed. Even if your kids are getting to bed late at night, don’t let them go to sleep before they brush their teeth! The same goes for sleeping in—alter the perception of your family’s brushing routine so that it isn’t time-based but activity-based. Instead of thinking “it’s 7 a.m., time to brush!” think “I got out of bed, now it’s time to brush!”
Make sure they’re brushing twice a day for at least two minutes with fluoride toothpaste. A brushing calendar could help everyone stay on track all summer! Give them stickers or little prizes if they go a whole month on schedule. To supervise and lead by example, brush with your kids! Make sure you’re brushing twice a day for at least two minutes to reinforce good habits. Brushing with your kids twice a day for three months adds up to six hours of time spent together, and six hours of maintaining their dental health.
Don’t forget about oral hygiene throughout the day! Make sure they’re flossing between meals—and in between any two teeth that touch. Many kids don’t have the motor skills to floss effectively until about 10 years old, so if you need to, put your hands over theirs to show them how it’s done, or look for alternative interdental cleaners to try.
Don’t Go Overboard with the Sweets!
The hotter it gets, the more appealing those cold, sugary drinks become. Lemonade, fruit juices, and sodas will be calling your kids’ names all summer! Try to reinforce (and stand firm on) the idea that these are treats to enjoy every once in a while, but they shouldn’t be your kids’ main beverage choice. Keep an eye on your whole family’s intake of these kinds of sugary drinks—that means yours too! Lead by example, and encourage them to drink water (with fluoride!) or milk with meals.
The same principle applies to snacking! It’s easy to graze all day during the summer, but watch how often your kids are snacking and what they’re snacking on. Minimize the sugar, and let your children tell you when they’re hungry (don’t worry, they definitely will!) instead of leaving snacks out all day long.
Schedule Dentist Appointments
Go ahead and schedule all of the back-to-school dentist appointments you’ll need. Some schools require these for certain grades, but they’re a great idea regardless! It’s a great check-in point to make sure your kids’ teeth stayed healthy all summer. The dentist will be able to spot any issues and take care of them so the kids don’t have to miss school later on. Make your children’s appointments early in the summer to avoid the August rush and to make sure you get an appointment that works for your family’s schedule.
Visiting your dentist regularly is the best way to ensure that your kids’ smiles stay healthy all year long! To schedule an appointment, contact LeCroy Dental today.