As a kid’s dentist, I know summertime fun doesn’t always mean sticking to a routine. Summertime and spontaneity go hand in hand. Some of the best summertime plans come from no planning at all. Later bedtimes, camping, barbecues, summer camps, and family road trips. All those fun times outside your daily routine.
But of course, every kid’s dentist is going to warn you to stick to at least one routine – daily dental hygiene.
Here’s some tips from a kid’s dentist to help you take care of your teeth and gums this summer.
Steer Clear of Energy and Sports Drinks
Sports drinks are marketed to replenish electrolytes, and advertisements show top athletes sweating and chugging them down after a workout. Pretty tempting imagery for kids who idolize their sports heroes. But the reality is that they taste great because most of them are loaded with sugar.
Energy drinks not only typically contain a good deal of sugar, but they’re full of caffeine or sometimes herbal stimulants. The Canadian Pediatric Society recommends that children and youth should stay away from energy and sports drinks.
We’ll also add sugary pop to that list. Kids dentists understand all that sugar creates acids which break down enamel on your teeth, leading to cavities. If you want to learn more, try our blog The Truth Behind How Sugars Affect Your Teeth and Overall Health.
The best thing to drink for summer hydration? Simply water.
Slip in Some Healthy Snacks
During the summer, you may have less control over what goes into their lunchboxes. Keep your fridge full of healthy delicious, easy to grab and go snacks like apples and oranges, baby carrots, and nuts. In addition to being low in sugar, many of these foods contain vitamins and minerals that can help strengthen your teeth and gums.
Here’s a good snack suggestion from a kid’s dentist: snack on nuts (if there are no allergies). Tree nuts like almonds, brazil nuts, and cashews are not only delicious, they contain phosphorus and calcium which help keep your teeth strong. Peanuts are packed with protein – but cracking their shells with your teeth can cause tooth damage, so be careful!
Crunching on raw celery or carrots acts almost like a natural toothbrush, breaking down plaque and massaging your gums while you chew. Plus, carrots contain vitamin A, an antioxidant that increases saliva, further breaking down plaque.
Camping / On Vacation – Make Brushing Your Teeth Fun!
Mmmm S’mores. Sticky gooey chocolatey S’mores. Who doesn’t love roasting marshmallows around the campfire and making those S’mores. But all that sugar? Not so fun for your teeth.
Keeping to a schedule can be really hard when you’re on vacation – especially if you’re camping, and you don’t have easy access to water. Consider bringing along chewable toothpaste tabs. They make brushing your teeth a little more fun. Look for tabs that contain fluoride and consult with your kid’s dentist to make sure they’re okay for your kids.
If all else fails, eat lots of those yummy carrots and drink water to wash away as much sugar as you can.
Keep to a Schedule As Much as You Can
If you lose a day or two of regular flossing and brushing while on vacation (or at summer camp when the parents aren’t around), get back into regular dental care as quickly as possible. Sticking to a good oral health routine of brushing at least once a day, and flossing between your teeth each day will help make sure your kids’ teeth last a long time.
Make an Appointment to Visit Your Dentist
Finally, schedule an appointment for a checkup and dental cleaning before you go back to school. Regular checkups are important to protect your kid’s teeth. You can make an appointment online with Cranberry Hill Dental.
Cranberry Hill Dentistry: Kid’s Dentist and Dentist for Your Entire Family
At Cranberry Hill Dentistry in Waterdown, Ontario, we treat kids of all ages – and their parents and grandparents too! We provide a full slate of dental services from regular checkups and cleanings to braces, fillings, dental implants, crowns, and more. We’re accepting new patients, too. So, whether you’re new to Waterdown and are looking for a great family dentist, or you’re one of our many happy patients, book your appointment with Cranberry Hill Dentistry now.