Take Care of Kids’ Teeth This Summer

jungen beim zähneputzenAcross the country, summer vacation is in full swing. Kids—and parents—are adopting new schedules the leisurely months of summer.

As you’re planning their next few months of relaxation, don’t forget their teeth. When your family hangs out at the pool, zoo or amusement park, you pack sunscreen. When they’re hungry—which is all the time, or at least it can feel that way—you feed them. When they’re thirsty, you make sure they have plenty of fluids. When they’ve gotten muddy or dirty from a day of playing outside, you make them take a shower. But one thing that’s often overlooked is their oral health. What’s going on with your kids’ teeth?

We look for signs to cue us in those other areas—we spot a sunburn or grubby feet, and we can hear reminders for meals and drinks and snacks. But we can’t see what’s happening with their teeth. And with summer’s fresh schedule and spontaneous outings, it can be easy to forget the normal routines that come with school nights and getting up and out the door for the bus.

Here are a few simple ways to help your kids take care of their teeth this summer:

  • Remind them to brush. Bedtime and morning routines be more fluid in summer, if they exist at all, so do what you can to create other reminders. Set an alarm on your phone or write a note on the bathroom mirror in dry erase marker.
  • Try to limit junk food. Just because they’re on the run or in the sun doesn’t mean you have to serve pop-tarts and popsicles. Keep healthy options on hand and save the sweets for occasional treats.
  • Keep water close by. With all of the sunshine, warmth and added activity of summer, your family will need plenty to drink. Be sure you have bottles of water around to make hydration easy and to reduce the temptation to stop for a soda when you’re out and about. There are a variety of great reusable bottle options available to keep waste to a minimum.
  • Pack extras. Have a few extra toothbrushes around in places other than the bathroom cabinet. Stash a few in the car, gym bag, pool bag or backpacks, so kids don’t have to remember to pack a toothbrush. Having extra toothbrushes to offer those visiting your house is helpful as well. It’s not just your kids who forget.
  • Make it fun. When all else fails, you can turn on some goofy music and insist that everyone participates in a family toothbrushing party. It may seem corny, but it’s worth it since healthy mouths make healthy kids.

About the Author

I am a family dentist who treats children as well as adults. Making smiles people love, extreme makeovers and complex dental reconstruction is our niche including implants, TMJ, orthodontics and cosmetic dentistry. As a participant in the blog, I will be offering dental perspectives on pediatric safety and health care options on a regular basis. I can be reached at www.suwaneedental.com. Blessings to all! Dr Williams is a member of the PedSafe Expert team


2 Responses to “Take Care of Kids’ Teeth This Summer”

  1. Brian says:

    Making sure your kids are always drinking water, especially in the heat of the summer, can really help them keep their teeth clean and healthy!

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