While enjoying this last month of summer fun and sweet treats, remember, don’t take a break from dental health! Keep your children’s smile healthy and bright before getting into back-to-school routines.
Dr. Andre Singleton, Area Dental Director for Kool Smiles, was recently invited by CBS4 News in El Paso to share some on-air tips for keeping your kids’ teeth healthy!
In order to maintain good dental health this summer, Dr. Singleton advises kids and parents to practice the 3-2-1 rule: Eat 3 healthy meals, brush 2 times and floss 1 time every day.
Dr. Singleton also reminds us that it is hard for children and parents to stick to a routine during the summer months. Kids are going to bed and waking up later causing some to forget to brush their teeth. Children also tend to eat and drink more sugar by replacing fruits and vegetables with sugary snacks.
Along with Dr. Singleton’s advice, here are some other tips to keep kids’ teeth healthy this summer and going into the upcoming school year!
- Plan healthy breakfasts. Schedules ease up in the summer with kids getting up later in the morning and tending to their own breakfasts. Make sure there is fresh seasonal fruit available for kids to choose over sugary cereals. Hard boiled eggs make a great snack and good source of protein without the sugars so many breakfast meals contain.
- Watch the soda intake. Hot summer months and enticing soda commercials can trigger a campaign by kids to get you to bring home the cola. Try to resist and encourage ice water with a lemon slice or other infused fruit to sweeten the deal. Soda is the worst nightmare for your child’s dental health. Do your best to keep it out of the house.
- Going on a trip? Pack healthy snacks and drinks. Whether you are going on a day trip to the pool or a longer vacation, it can be difficult to find healthy food options on the go. Vending machines, the ice cream man and the food hut rarely offer non-greasy foods or low-sugar snacks that are good for the body and teeth. Bring the good stuff with you. Fresh strawberries can satisfy the sweet cravings and while there is natural sugar in those as well – you are better off with a berry over a snow cone.
- Brush, brush, brush. Summer nights may also come with later bed times. Active days outside in the sun tire us all out and parents need to make sure their sleepy heads tend to their teeth before drifting off at night. Make sure your kids brush after dinner. If they have a snack before bedtime, the last thing in their mouths should be their tooth brushes. Sugar has a field day overnight in a mouth and it’s important for kids to brush and rinse out the day’s meals and snacks before hitting the pillow.
- Schedule a dental checkup. Take advantage of this time when your child won’t have to miss school to get that necessary dental check-up. During your child’s summer check-up, the dental team will likely perform a cleaning, check for any cavities or other oral health problems, and take the opportunity to reinforce the importance of good brushing and flossing habits. Children should get a dental checkup every six months.