Keep to your dental routine this summer
Whether your family is staying up for a concert or a fireworks show, resist the urge to skip brushing before a late bedtime—or let it slide when everyone sleeps in the next morning. “Don’t forget to wear your smile this summer,” says Tampa dentist Dr. Barrett Tindell at North Pointe Dental. “It’s important for families to enforce brushing and flossing, which keeps that smile white and makes for perfect back-to-school dental visits.”
During the eventful summer months, supervise that your children are brushing twice a day for 2 minutes with a fluoride toothpaste. Simple things like rewarding brushing with a star chart can help your kids stay on track over the summer. Plus, it’s a chance to spend more “family time” time together. Make a habit of brushing with your children for 2 minutes, twice a day for the summer months – this gives you 6 extra hours together.
Don’t forget to floss between those teeth once a day. “Your kids should be flossing between those teeth that touch,” Dr. Tindell says. “Many kids don’t have the advanced motor skills to floss until they are 10 years old.” If your child requires help flossing, try different varieties of interdental flossers or put your hands over theirs to guide them.
Opt out of the sugary snacks and drinks
As it gets hotter, it’s common for families to snack and rehydrate during outdoor activities, farmers markets or nearly any summer event. “Watch your family’s intake of sugar from juice and soda,” says Dr. Tindell. “Sugary drinks should only be enjoyed once in a while, and not often.” Offer water instead to beat the heat, or milk to drink with meals. Don’t let summertime snacking damage your child’s smile. “Take a break from snacking – it is healthy for your teeth,” says Dr. Tindell. “It allows saliva to bathe the teeth and wash away leftover food.”
If you find yourself spending more time at home this summer, snack smarter, and allow your children to tell you when they’re hungry instead of pushing snacks throughout the day. “Children shouldn’t be afraid to let you know when they want something to eat!” he says.
Book your back-to-school dental visit early
Some, but not all, schools require back-to-school dental visits for certain grades. These periodic checkups can be a great way to ensure your child’s teeth stayed healthy and cavity free. Avoid the August rush – It is a good idea to make your child’s back-to-school appointment early in the summer to avoid the August rush and help insure you get the appointment time that works best for you. “We can help identify and fix those issues, so your child doesn’t have to miss class,” Dr. Tindell says. “Visiting the dentist regularly can help your child’s smile stay healthy all year long.”