Blog / Pediatric Dentistry

How To Keep Your Child’s Teeth Clean Over Summer Break

July 27, 2015

Ferris wheel at nightAs a busy parent, you know how it is… With summer here, things tend to get a little more lax. Later bedtimes, increased snacking, and more permissive attitudes from moms and dads seem to be some summer trends.

While we encourage you to have fun this summertime we do want to recommend that you still pay special attention to your children’s teeth this summer. Why? As enjoyable as summer is, it is also that time of year where dentists see the most cavities.

There are things you can do to manage your kids’ teeth better so they do not experience any dental problems while still having fun this summer. Check out our summer dental tips below where we answer common questions that our patients have on this topic, while also offering advice on how you can keep your children’s teeth clean and healthy.

Are there common culprits in the summer that are damaging to children’s teeth?

As we mentioned, summer is the most difficult time in terms of keeping children’s teeth healthy. The sunny summer days bring carnivals, sporting events, outdoor movies, and all kinds of fun entertainment. While this tends to make for a more enjoyable summer, these events often offer all kinds of sugary treats that are detrimental to teeth.

Just think about it. Doesn’t summer conjure up thoughts of cotton candy, soda, caramel-covered apples, elephant ears, and so on? All of these treats contain a great deal of sugar, which unfortunately, fuels the bacteria that results in tooth decay.

What can I do to help my kids keep their teeth clean in the summer?

Do not despair, mom and dad. There are ways to keep your children’s teeth healthy this summer. We would suggest that you do the following:

Have Your Children Brush After Every Meal

Most children brush before breakfast. Then, they consume a sugary cereal afterward. Instead, have your kids brush after breakfast and snacking so that food does not have the chance to linger on their teeth, causing tooth decay.

Drink Water

Did you know that water can minimize the effects of acidic foods on tooth enamel? It also keeps the mouth moist, which is beneficial for fighting germs and bad breath. On the run and no place for your kids to brush after eating a snack? Have them swish their mouths out with water after eating.

Keep Healthy Snacks on Hand

Crunchy fruits and vegetables go a long way toward diluting sugar in the mouth. Stock your fridge with apples, carrots, and other healthy items so that when kids are hungry, they will be more inclined to reach for food that does the mouth good!

Does this mean my child can’t have any of the fun treats of summer?

No, absolutely not! At Petry & Walton, we want you and your children to feel free to indulge once in awhile. We would only recommend that rather than making sugary treats an everyday occurrence, you limit them to no more than a couple of times a week. And when you do decide to allow your child a fun treat, just make sure you follow the tips above to ensure that teeth remain cavity-free!

While summertime can be a prime time for cavities in kids, it does not have to be. By limiting sugary treats to a couple of times a week, brushing afterward (or drinking water when the family is on the go), and keeping healthy snacks on hand, your kids can still enjoy summer treats, and you can have greater peace of mind. Sounds win-win to us!