Is Summertime a Threat to Your Child’s Tooth Health?
Summertime is here and for many families that means more relaxed schedules, outdoor activities, and leniency with meals and snacks. Unfortunately, these shifts in routine can sometimes cause tooth care to be neglected and oral health may suffer. To make sure your children’s teeth stay healthy through the summer months, be aware of the following threats that summer presents to tooth health.
Differing Sleep Schedules
If children stay up late, it can be tempting to let them skip brushing and flossing. However, this can become a habit, allowing plaque buildup, gum irritation, and other oral health issues. For best results, insist that children prioritize brushing and flossing at bedtime and in the morning.
Sugary Foods and Beverages
Ice cream, candy, and sodas are quick foods and beverages that children tend to eat and drink more of during the summer while playing with friends and attending events. Be aware of your child’s diet throughout the summer months and make sure that healthier options like water and fresh vegetables are available during events. Also educate your children about how swishing with water after eating sugary foods can protect teeth.
When mealtimes aren’t planned it can result in more snacking and make it easier to default to unhealthy options like fast-food. Snacking allows sugars and debris to sit on the teeth longer than eating meals all at once and fast-food often introduces sugary beverages and food that’s lacking in nutrition. Planning a healthy breakfast and packing a cooler with nutritious food items to eat while on the go can mitigate poor habits without compromising summer fun.
Summer sports and even play put your child at risk for mouth injuries. Encourage your child to wear a mouth guard when playing certain sports. Also emphasize safety during play, be sure to inform your child about the dangers of slips and falls from running on wet surfaces or in crowded places. If a mouth injury occurs, be sure to visit a dentist or doctor as soon as possible to minimize the impact to oral health.
Changes in Location
When your child is staying at summer camp, sleeping at a friend’s house, or visiting overnight with relatives, it can be easy for him or her to forget tooth care aids. Remind your child to bring a toothbrush, floss, retainer, and any other tools needed to maintain adequate tooth health. Encourage your child to prioritize their own tooth health and stick to oral care routines even when away from home.
Summer is a great time to schedule dentist appointments, as you won’t have to pull your child out of school. Call 904-269-6558 to schedule your child’s dental examination with Fleming Island Dental today.