Summertime as a child is full of outdoor opportunities, grass-stained knees, and laughter and smiles. It can also be a time when sugary lemonade and drink mixes flow like water, which means there's no better season to focus on keeping their teeth and mouth healthy than when school's out. Here are our dentists' tips for keeping your child's smile healthy and beautiful all summer long.
Start a Good Oral Hygiene Routine
Your child should be brushing their teeth at least twice a day for two minutes all year round. You can help encourage this habit by making it fun for them by letting them pick out their toothbrush and toothpaste. You can even sing songs they like while they brush, which can help them focus on making sure they're getting all their teeth for the appropriate amount of time.
In addition, if your child is old enough, they should be able to floss on their own. If not, floss for them regularly. You can also make sure they're brushing their tongue, as this helps to keep the mouth clean and reduce the risk of bad breath.
Avoid Sugary Drinks and Snacks
If you have a soda or juice-loving child, they should drink their favorite sugary beverage at mealtimes only, as this will help reduce their overall intake of sugar, which is tooth decay's best friend. If your child drinks a lot of sugary drinks, ensure they balance this with brushing often and hydrating with water or non-sugary drinks.
As for snacks, try to avoid sugary and sticky foods, as these can cause food debris to get caught in the crevices of teeth and the gums and cause cavities. Instead, opt for healthier options like fruits and vegetables or whole-grain crackers.
Provide Water Regularly
Water is essential for oral and overall health, so make sure your child drinks plenty of it throughout the day. This will help rinse away any food particles and keep your kid hydrated and healthy. You should also encourage your child to drink water after eating sugary snacks or drinks, as this will help to neutralize the acids that form in their mouth as a result of those foods.
You can try to make water more appealing to your children by adding fruit slices or sugar-free flavoring to their water bottles.
Model Good Oral Health Habits
You can help your child develop good habits by leading by example. Show them how to take care of their teeth and why it's important. Help them understand that taking care of their teeth now will help prevent problems in the future.
Also, make sure you're setting a good example by taking care of your teeth. Brush and floss together, and show that it's important to see the dentist on a regular basis.
Visit the Dentist Regularly
A dentist can help keep track of any potential problems in your child's mouth and provide a good cleaning, which is important to removing food debris that might be stuck in between the teeth.
To make it easy when visiting the dentist, schedule the appointments regularly and set the expectation that it will happen again. It becomes part of your child's routine and won't be such a hassle.
Schedule a Consultation
The foundation of any child's dental health is regular dental checkups, where our dentists can help you lead your child(ren) on the path of good oral hygiene for life. Schedule your first appointment with our friendly and gentle San Francisco dentists by calling our office or contacting us online today.