18 May 2018 Tips for Keeping Up Good Dental Habits During Summer
With every day of warm weather, summer feels a little bit closer. In just a few weeks, school will end and for many, so will school routines. Your kids may be celebrating the fact they won’t have to get up early, won’t have to do homework, and won’t be gone for 7 hours a day (of course, some parents are probably crying right now reading this). It’s easy to let healthy habits slip in the summer. It’s easy to just eat one snow cone after another and not even think about the consequences. However, all of you will be healthier and happier establishing some healthy summer routines. Hopefully you will include some good dental habits in your routines this summer. And hopefully you will learn about the bad habits to avoid that ruin your teeth. Avoid the bad habits and develop the good ones! Good habits will save you money at the dentist and will save your teeth!
- Drink and rinse your mouth with water. You have heard again and again how great water is for your body and your teeth. Water is the perfect summer drink. Drinking water can help your body stay energized and hydrated during the hot summer months. Water also stimulates your mouth’s saliva glands. Saliva produced by drinking water helps to wash away acids that eat away at your teeth. Rinsing with water is also a great way to get rid of food particles sitting on your teeth.
- Avoid soda at all costs. It may taste great but the sugar and acid in it are very harmful to teeth. The acids will quickly attack and begin wearing on enamel, shortly after having a drink. Sports drinks and juices are harmful as well. Drink sugary drinks in moderation and use a straw. Do not drink soda at every meal and in between.
- For kids make a teeth brushing chart. Make brushing fun. Perhaps children could earn prizes for brushing? A few dollars spent on prizes is nothing compared to what you will spend on fillings or even root canals. Just make sure the prizes aren’t sugary candy that will stick to their teeth!
- For kids, get a timer. Brushing your teeth at least 2 minutes is optimal. Having a timer in the bathroom not only makes brushing more fun but helps children (and adults) reach the 2 minute mark.
- Have healthy snacks on hand. Fruits and veggies are fibrous and filling. Some fruits, like apples, even help clean your teeth. Junk food seems just too easy to reach for in it brightly colored packages. If given a choice, many children would choose foods that aren’t the best for bodies or for teeth. However, if an apple is cut and sitting on the kitchen counter, you will be surprised how quickly it will disappear. Small efforts with snacks will pay off.
- Schedule your back-to-school dental cleaning and exam now. Avoid the August rush, when everyone schedules back-to-school dental appointments. Schedule your child’s next exam and cleaning now. Going to the dentist in June or July can help kids stay motivated to brush and floss throughout the season.