After being stuck at home for a year and a half, summer of 2021 is finally upon us. For the majority of kids, summer is the best time of year. However, with the return of summer camps, family vacations, and other social activities, an overprogrammed schedule of fun is likely to occur, which therefore means less time and attention will be spent on your kids’ oral fitness™ The hot weather also means kids will most likely turn to sugary, cold, treats, such as: ice cream, popsicles, sodas, and of course roasted marshmallows over an open fire. With jam packed days full of fun activities and delicious treats, kids are often too tired and grumpy by the end of the day for proper dental care. So, how can kids protect their teeth during these busy summer months? Follow the tips below!
This is especially important if your kids are heading off to overnight camp, or you are going on a vacation where you won’t have access to shops. The top products to pack aretoothbrushes (bring extras), enough toothpaste to last the duration of the holiday, dental floss, and mouthwash. A toothbrush is good for approximately 3 months, so make sure to also replace it when they start school again in the fall. If you are not sure which toothbrush best suits your child, you can check out my top picks from the Oral B collection.
Your kids should be brushing their teeth twice a day for two minutes and flossing their teeth once per day. Don’t send your younger kids off to camp without proper dental routine instructions in place. Even adding little funny notes or silly reminders tucked in their duffle bags can be helpful. If you are with your kids over the summer, brushing can also be a group activity, and you can lead by example by doing it altogether at the cottage or cabin. Maintaining a good oral hygiene routine is essential for avoiding cavities and gingivitis in the summer. Also, remember to keep your children’s lips safe from UV rays. Our lips are susceptible to burning, which can cause a variety of issues including skin cancer. Make sure your kids are taking care of their lips with a quick and simple SPF 15 or higher lip balm application.
Summertime brings the sweetest treats around! I don’t want to become the villain for telling you the right thing, but I do highly recommend enjoying sugary foods in moderation this summer. Overconsumption of sugar is not only bad for your teeth, but also for your overall health. Choosing healthier snacks for your kids when possible, like string cheese, whole grain crackers, fresh fruits and vegetables, yoghurt, and nuts are always the better options.
Nothing puts a damper on your summer like a dental emergency! If your child happens to play outdoor sports, especially contact ones, make sure they have a custom-fitted mouthguard to help cut down on dental emergencies.
As well, be careful of hard or sticky foods your child might be eating. Ice, popcorn, and hard candies can all crack and damage teeth.
Make sure to discourage any unhealthy behaviors or oral habits your child may have picked up, such as biting or chewing non-food objects, or using their teeth as “tools” to tear openpackages.
It’s so important to stay hydrated during the summer heat. Make sure your kids bring a water bottle whenever they are participating in any outdoor physical activity. Sodas and other sugary drinks are not beneficial for keeping hydrated, so try and have them stay away from those. If you can’t win the soda war, then make sure your child drinks water after they have finished their can. It will help wash away some of the sugar from their mouths. This is very helpful for preventing cavities.