Happy summertime to our patients and families! We continue to bring you the latest dental tips for your children’s healthy teeth during the carefree days of their summer vacations from school.
Safety and Health from the Beginning of the Summertime Season
For this blog, we begin by asking that you check when you took your child to his or her dental checkup. Without even consulting the calendar, chances are you will say that you schedule your child for dental checkups in August before the beginning of the school year.
However, like many dentists, Dentistry for Children advises you to re-think that policy.
The best time for dental check-ups is actually in the early weeks of summer not long after the end of classes. Not only will you beat the back to school rush, but you will prevent dental problems from ballooning over the summertime.
On this schedule, the kids will start the season with a clean bill of oral health. You will avoid the scenario of a kid in the car on vacation, with a toothache.
Just be certain that if your child has a procedure, you don’t book a trip to closely to the dental appointment. He or she might need a little time to get over procedure and be in tip-top shape to ride or fly.
Acid Attack: Do You Know What It Is and the Damage That Results?
In case you are not familiar with “acid attack,” following is a brief description. As we know, Calcium is an important element that is necessary to build strong teeth. Some foods that are termed acidic, can strip away or “leach” calcium from protective enamel. This condition is sometimes referred to as “erosion” and leaves the tooth open to decay.
Spokespersons from Delta Dental of California adds to this saying, “When the enamel, or protective surface of your teeth, wears away, it exposes the underlying material, called dentin. This leaves your tooth vulnerable to plaque and bacteria, which cause decay.”
Acid can come from many sources. Among those are certain commonly consumed foods. Some of these are more likely to be consumed by adults. But care should be taken, especially by our young, developing children.
Safe and Healthy Summertime Shopping for Groceries
Keep the summer from being an “acid attack” on your family’s teeth by investing in healthy snacks. It’s hard to limit snacking when the kids are home all day. But with the availability of fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables, you can stock the fridge with healthy options. Be sure to keep the fruits and veggies clean and ready to grab.
You’ll feel better about snacking when the kids are reaching for blueberries and strawberries instead of candy and cookies. And swap out the sugary, acidic soft drinks with bottled water.
Reinforcing some of our previous recommendations, are a few tips from The American Dental Association.
- Soft drinks even with diet options contain acid that “can dissolve your enamel.”
- Drinking wine will soften your enamel. This is true of red, white or other wines.
- The most acidic fruit juices are lemon, orange, apple, and cranberry.
- Snacking on oranges, limes, and lemons can wear down teeth.
- “No sugary sweets are good for your teeth. But look especially to avoid “sour gummies and candies.”
- Serious damage to teeth can come from stomach acid. So, if your child or anyone in the family suffers from “an eating disorder, acid reflux or a related condition, seek professional help.”
Prevent Dental Emergencies
Our children love outdoor activities in the summertime. What are your child’s favorites? Swimming, volleyball, tennis, football, bike riding. And without these, it wouldn’t be summer. And while these are great fun, they can, unfortunately, result in a dental injury. Be sure your child is as safe as possible. Dentistry for Children offers these tips to help parents keep their child’s teeth as safe as possible.
Know the safety rules. If your kids love swimming, be sure they know the “pool rules.” According to the Academy of General Dentistry, many of the injuries treated by dentists are pool accidents. Chipping or knocking a tooth loose is often caused by running on slippery pool decks. Two other causes involve diving into shallow waters or bumping the pool ledge with their mouth.
- If an accident does occur, getting to the dentist as soon as possible is very important. There are things you can do to help. Clean the area of damage with warm water and use cold packs to reduce swelling. You can use gauze to stop bleeding. If a permanent tooth is knocked out, place it in the mouth if possible. Otherwise, warm water or milk can be used to keep it moist. Again, it is important to see the dentist immediately.
- If you are contemplating a vacation trip, pack an emergency dental kit in your luggage. According to the AGD, this basic kit should contain a “handkerchief, gauze, a small container with a lid, ibuprofen and your dentist’s contact information.
If your child is actively playing football, baseball, hockey, or any other contact sport, be sure they have a properly fitted mouth guard and if appropriate a face mask.
- And while it doesn’t fall under the category of an accident, if your child is going to camp or on any trip.it is wise to check the luggage contents. Be sure he or she has the proper toothbrush and flossing material.
Your child’s Summer accidents can really upset emotions and routines. You cannot prevent all injuries. However, you can anticipate and prevent some potential problems by following these tips.
We hope you have great fun during this summer season. And thanks for reading our blog. We look forward to seeing you here next time.