Summer is a great time for families with kids. Lazy days by the pool. Smores by the fire. Fun adventures that lead to long days.
And pictures. Lots and lots of pictures with smiling kids.
It’s so nice to have the extra time with them while their young. It’s a good time to recharge; school will be here before we know it. And of course; they won’t be young forever.
While a lot of routines are set aside for the summer, there are some that can be emphasized to keep your kids healthy and avoid tooth decay.
Without the rush of the school year, summer is a great time to teach and instill good habits they can carry throughout their lives. So, how can we help our kids? Here’s a few ideas.
Make Dental Care a Family Function
Just like family dinners every night instill strong values, you can teach the kids valuable lessons in taking care of themselves by making brushing and flossing a family activity.
Make it fun! Let them inspect up close how you brush and floss. Show them how to inspect their teeth and gums. Kids under ten years old may not have the manual dexterity to floss properly. With the relaxed summertime schedule, this is a great time to coach them to be skilled and attentive at making sure they reach all the nooks and crannies in their mouth.
Introducing the family to a water-flosser during the warmer months is a lot better than trying to do it in the middle of winter.
When oral hygiene is seen as less of a chore and more of a routine by the whole family; kids are more likely to do it well for life.
Don’t Skip the Routine
Sure, we all have those Saturday nights when friends are over, the kids have Smores and juice boxes—and suddenly, it’s way past bedtime. Even if it’s late, take the extra few minutes to see that they brush and floss. If you’ve been practicing with them, they’ll be getting better at it.
Don’t Ban-Limit the Sweets & Snacks
Juice, lemonade, popsicles and sweets are everywhere in the summertime. Even real juice and fruits have acids that harm tooth enamel. That’s okay. Enjoying them is part of what makes summertime so much fun.
But use the teachable moments. If the kids have been good; let them have the treats, followed by a glass of water. Remind them that it’s good to wash away the stuff that can damage their teeth.
Better yet, have them drink a lot of water throughout the day. Doing so will cut down on how much of the other stuff they consume. Healthy water consumption habits will contribute to better overall health.
Milk, Fluoride, and…Saliva?
Strange combination, huh? What do they have in common? They’re all good for our teeth.
Milk helps all your bones—including teeth and jawbones. The calcium helps to prevent gum disease, too.
Fluoride is added to many public water supplies; check to see if it’s in yours. If not, or if you’re on well water or use a lot of bottled water, make sure you’re getting the right amount of fluoride. Talk to us about your situation, we’ll steer you in the right direction.
Saliva is a compound that protects your teeth and fights bacteria. Give it time to do its job. It’s great to drink a lot of water, but make sure there’s plenty of periods throughout the day where there’s no snacking or drinking that will flush away the saliva.
Make an Appointment!
Schools require dental checkups—don’t wait till the last minute. Call us today and make an appointment for the whole family before the August rush to get ready for school.
Summer is a wonderful time for families and kids. It gives us more time to spend together. Use it wisely. Your kids will carry the memories-and the good habits-throughout their lives.