With summer in full swing, your kids are probably having the time of their life. Between managing all the fun activities, it can be difficult to make sure your kids eat healthy and practice good dental care habits. Below, you’ll learn some top tips for keeping up a healthy summer dental routine for your child.
Maintain a Brushing Routine
It’s very important to maintain a brushing routine, just the same as the one that your child uses during the school year. Bacteria doesn’t take a holiday from attacking the teeth, so neither should brushing! Make sure that your child brushes two times a day — preferably morning and night. Each brushing routine should last two minutes.
If your child is only putting in minimal effort and time, consider a special brushing app on your smartphone. Brushing apps like Toothy, Brush DJ, and Disney Magic Timer can keep your child entertained and distracted so well that they won’t even realize they’re doing something good for their health.
Another way to inspire your child to keep brushing this summer is to replace their brush with a brand new one of their choice. While your child is choosing a new brush, consider picking up some disposable brushes (the ones that have toothpaste pre-loaded) for your child to take along whenever they’re away from home. Having disposable brushes on hand can be quite helpful for vacations, sleepovers, or other situations when a regular toothbrush might be forgotten.
Schedule a Cleaning and Check-Up
The beginning of summer is the perfect time to schedule a dental cleaning and check-up. If your child heads into the summer with a good report from the dentist, you’ll both be able to relax and enjoy the summer to the fullest. The summer is also a great time for a check-up and cleaning because summertime means more free time — and you don’t have coordinate appointment times around your child’s school schedule.
Make Healthy Snacks
Summertime can turn into a snacking frenzy for kids — and the snacks they reach for are often sugary and unhealthy. You can combat the problem easily if you make some healthy snacks to have on hand. Some healthy (and delicious!) snack ideas include:
- Frozen fruit: Frozen grapes and blueberries are great choices, and frozen bananas (cut in discs) are a popular summer finger food also.
- Fruit pops: Popsicles are a summer staple for any kid, but you don’t have to use the high sugar version. Make your own frozen fruit pops with natural unsweetened fruit juice, popsicle molds, and wooden sticks. You can also make a mini version with ice cube trays and toothpicks.
- Veggies and dip: Cut up a pile of fresh raw veggies like carrots and celery every few days, storing them in plastic baggies for easy access. If your child loves dip, buy some individual containers of a healthy option like hummus.
- Fruit and cheese skewers: You can easily make some fruit and cheese skewers using toothpicks, strawberries, grapes, and cubed cheese. Alternate fruit and cheese for fun and healthy snack anytime.
Prepare For Activity
Summertime can mean a big increase in outdoor activities. From swimming to volleyball and beyond, you need to be ready for the kind of mishaps that can occur with an increase in physical activity. Take the following steps to stay safe.
- Make the rules clear: No matter what kind of outdoor fun your child’s going to engage in, make sure that they clearly understand all of the safety rules and can recite them back to you before they’re allowed to play.
- Use the right gear: Make sure that your child has the safety gear necessary to play any sport they’re interested in. For example, a custom mouthguard can prevent dental disasters like knocked out teeth during contact sports.
- Have emergency dental supplies in your first aid kit: While you probably already know that a first aid kit is important during the summer, you might not have essential dental supplies. Add small gauze squares, sugar free gum (in case of a lost filling,) and a couple of doses of children’s ibuprofen.
Pediatric Dentistry of Central Florida is here to support you and your child during the summer and all year long. Contact us anytime to arrange an appointment.