With summer comes a time for letting go of the school year rushing about and settling into relaxation – well, until the kids are bored after three weeks and you’ve given up trying to make sure the summer slide doesn’t happen. One of the biggest summer slides is usually dental hygiene. With later bedtimes and lax food guidelines, many kids find themselves skipping their typical nightly dental routine and turning to junk food for quick refueling. With the uptick in outside play, we also see more injuries to the mouth. Here are a few tip to avoid the summer dental slide and make sure that our mouths remain healthy and safe!
We know how simple it sounds, but how difficult it is to get your kids to drink plain old water. Now, when playing sports in the scorching Texas heat, electrolyte replacing liquids are necessary to avoid heat stroke, hyponatremia (not enough sodium in the blood), and to keep our kids still active. But at other times, sports drinks are not needed. Plain water is great for hydrating the mouth and washing plaque- and cavity-causing bacteria away from the teeth and gums.
Straws Aren’t Just for Kids
Sometimes, water just doesn’t cut it – you just have to have a soda or juice. Try using a straw to help bypass your teeth. The acid in juices and carbonated drinks can actually erode the enamel on your teeth. You’ve seen the video hack of a certain carbonated beverage being used to clean a toilet, right? The phosphoric and citric acids in the beverage may contribute to enamel erosion and other corrosive effects in the body. All-in-all, stay away from the sodas, but if you just haveto have one, use a straw, wait about 30 minutes or so, and then brush your teeth.
Tea is pretty awesome! Coffee is our national drink, for sure, but there is something special about tea. There are constant studies being released on how great tea is for our bodies. Tea has different substances that help deter bacteria, slow tooth decay, and fight against gum disease. Though coffee is our dark mistress, tea is definitely something we should think about drinking more of – just remember to skip the sugar!
Always, Always, Always Wear a Mouthguard
Oral injuries are no joke. Though professionally made mouthguards by dentists are the absolute best, over-the-counter ones will provide the stability your teeth need in a blow to the jaw happens. We cannot stress enough how important it is to protect those pearly whites!
Moderation is Key
Summer is awesome! There is swimming, playing, sports, fireworks, picnics, and tons of family time. It is also when food choices lean a little toward convenience and junk. We get it! Nothing is better than popsicles or ice cream on a blistering Texas summer day. Just remember to think about enjoying those things less often and turn towards healthy fruits and cut up veggies. Fast, healthy, and yummy!
Summer is about fun, but remember to make sure your kids still floss and brush morning and night – even when those schedules are later than usual. And don’t forget to make sure you schedule your biannual cleaning and check-up!