8 FUN ways to encourage kids to take care of their teeth while on summer break!
Summertime is nearly here! While summer break is most certainly a time to rest, relax and adventure with family, the disruption in routine can cause some kids (and parents) to let their hygiene fall by the wayside. Keeping up with dental hygiene throughout the summer is important for maintaining good health throughout the year. These tips and tricks are perfect for summer camp adventures, vacations and impromptu sleepovers.
- Make brushing fun– Dance while you brush! Apps like Brush DJ and Star Teeth are designed to get kids begging to brush. (Alternatively, you can set a timer or play a brushing theme song. Be sure to dance along with your little ones. Remember, any game or challenge can skyrocket a child’s enthusiasm.)
- Create a story - One creative trick to encourage brushing is to dream up a story: talk about the imaginary “sugar bugs” that are attacking your child’s mouth. The only way to defeat the sugar bugs is to defend your mouth with a toothbrush and toothpaste. Add some drama to the sugar bug battle and tie a cape around your child so he can become a real superhero fighting the evil sugar bugs. (Just be careful not to scare your child into believing that his mouth is crawling with bugs - that could be traumatic for some kids!)
- Reminders - Constant reminders to brush at breakfast, lunch or dinner can be a good way to help kids remember to brush. Making a fun chart to track daily brushing progress or downloading brushing timer aps to your mobile devices, are also great ways to encourage oral hygiene on the go. Call the office if you would like a chart emailed to you, we have some ready!
- Hydrate! – There are few habits as healthy as the regular intake of natural mineral water containing fluorides. Entire books have been written on the importance of water to your body. When your children – and you! – work up a sweat, remember to skip the sports drinks and sodas that harm your teeth by wearing into enamel. Reach instead for a glass of cool H2O.
- Be Prepared - Keep a travel kit with an extra toothbrush, toothpaste and floss packed for impromptu overnight stays. Collapsible/travel toothbrushes can also be extremely convenient for outdoor camping or long road trips.
- Guard your mouth – If your children play summer sports, they should wear a mouth guard. In the event of an accident, these guards save you and your family time, trouble, pain, and money. Click here for information on what to do if you have mouth or dental trauma.
- Wear Lip Balm With 15 SPF or more - While we often remember to protect our faces and bodies with sunscreen, most sun-goers forget about their lips. Our lips are more vulnerable to burning than most parts of your body, yet we forget about protecting them from the sun. Damage to our lips over time can lead to fever blisters, or worse, skin cancer. A quick application of lip balm will go a long way in protecting your lips from the sun's harmful rays and your little ones will love having it on!
- Dental Appointments - Lastly, with no tests or classes to compete with, summer is the perfect time to schedule dental cleanings! The cleaning will help establish a good baseline for the summer. It also gives your dentist an opportunity to help reinforce the importance of regular brushing and flossing, and instruct kids on how to remove the most plaque possible.
Brushing and flossing twice a day and regularly visiting your favorite dental office, Dentistry for Life, can help maintain your bright smile while preventing cavities and gum disease. For adults and children alike, the American Dental Association recommends a check-up every six months.
Keeping your child’s smile bright and healthy can be as easy as planning ahead, packing healthy snacks and making it fun! Keeping up with kids’ dental health during the summer helps keep kids healthy all year long.