Summer Dental Health Tips for Kids

Hanging out with friends, playing outdoors and getting out of school make summer a favorite time of year for a child. While the season has a host of offerings, it may also present certain risks. Sugary treats and physical activity combined can put your child’s oral health at risk. Houston Pediatric Dentist, Dr. Linh Luu wants to help your child have an enjoyable summer season by offering the following tips to help preserve their smile.

Stick to a Normal Dental Routine

With sleepovers, vacations and later bedtime hours, summer can be a time where you become relaxed with your normal dental routine. But sticking to a regimented schedule can prevent future cavities and oral complications. During the summer months, have your child stay in the habit by reinforcing good oral hygiene habits. Have your child brush their teeth after meals or at a minimum of twice daily. You should also encourage them to floss regularly eat a healthy diet.

Limit Sweets

There will be no shortage of tempting treats throughout the summer months. The long, warm summer days may have your child craving toasted marshmallows, ice cream, candy, soda and popsicles. Unfortunately, sugar is the primary cause of cavities. The more sugar your child eats, the higher the risk of developing cavities. While some indulgences are fine in moderation, you want to set a limit on sweet foods. Find teeth friendly alternatives such as veggies and dip, yogurt and berries, sliced watermelon, cheese, apples and hummus. You could also reduce your child's sugar intake by making your own sorbets, popsicles and ice cream.

Protect Your Child’s Teeth with Mouth Guards

Summer is a fun and exciting time of year to participate in activities such as swimming, baseball and soccer. Since the physical activity can be dangerous at times through collisions, foul balls and accidental elbowing, you want to protect your child’s teeth. A mouth guard can greatly reduce your child’s chances of getting a tooth knocked out. Even if the recreational sport seems low-key, wearing a mouth guard can cut down on mouth injuries.

Be Prepared for Emergencies

It wouldn’t be summer without a lot of play. But with these fun activities, your child could be at risk for a dental injury. You can be prepared for an oral emergency by ensuring that your child obeys the rules whether they are at a friend’s home or swimming at the community pool. If an accident occurs, you need to know what to do. Gauze and cold packs can help ease both pain and bleeding. If your child’s tooth is accidentally knocked out, time is of the essence. Call your pediatric dentist immediately and use milk or salt water to keep the tooth moist during the trip to your dentist. If you’re going on vacation, keep an emergency kit on-hand filled with gauze, ibuprofen and an emergency dental contact list.

Schedule a Checkup

Most parents schedule their child’s dental checkup in the weeks leading up to the start of school. But if you’re planning on taking vacations or being out of town for an extended period of time, you want to ensure your child’s dental health. You also don’t want your child to suffer from a cavity or toothache when out of town. Bunker Hill Pediatric Dentistry can provide a thorough pediatric dental examination and cleaning. This allows your child to deal with any issues immediately. If no problems are found, they get to enjoy a clean bill of health at the start of summer vacation.