With vacation schedules for late nights and early mornings, paying attention to good dental habits can be over-looked. So this week’s blog article is all about keeping good oral health habits during your summer vacation trips.
Here in Orlando at Dentistry for Children, our young patients have been showing us photos of family fun on their vacations: With only three teeth tiny teeth, our young patient, Baby Bella smiles cheek-to-cheek with a real live Mickey Mouse from her Disney World vacation. (It seems like only yesterday when she was a week old and Dr. Troy King laser-snipped her tongue tie so she could develop her tongue and lips for speaking and chewing normally.)
Young Ashton shows off his water skiing skills on his Cyprus Garden vacation, with a big shiny grin in spite of the recent loss of his baby front teeth. In his vacation selfie photo, 6th grade Dentistry for Children patient Brad proudly demonstrates his mountaineering ability, posing on a good-sized rock cliff with his older brothers. (He had two cavities last year. He had to learn to concentrate on his brushing technique, but our oral hygienist at Dentistry for Children says, “He’s doing much better with his brushing this year.”)
Jenny, Lilly and Jill dazzle us with smiles of mock terror as they rock in their Ferris wheel gondola in their favorite theme park photo. (Lilly’s crowns look great!) Ah! The joys of summer vacation!
As we enter the last week of the ADA-designated Oral Health Month, it won’t be long before all of these children are flashing those smiles in the multi-colored light of July 4th Fireworks. We work hard at Dentistry for Children, to keep those toothy smiles bright, healthy and beautiful.
Vacation Advice: Please, Take Your Good Oral Health Habits With You!
These glimpses into the heart of family vacation fun and our concern for your oral health have inspired us. Consequently, this article brings you 6 fast tips to keep your smiles, to take on your vacation.
Even On Vacation, You Can Keep Kids Smiles Bright!
In the first place, tooth decay and other dental problems do not take a vacation. They are on a mission to destroy the dental beauty behind those children’s gorgeous smiles. So we at “Dentistry for Children” must warn parents, “A family should not take a vacation from regular brushing and flossing routines.” A recent poll showed that 30 percent of parents believe their children’s attention to dental habits disappears as soon as school lets out for summer. If a dental brushing chart with stickers of stars and points for flossing helps at home, pack it for the vacation trip too. (In fact, how about taking extra stars for vacation brushing!) If special music aids in getting the kids to brush, be sure you have it, in your phone. So, familiar habits like the stars or the music can still kick in with good brushing habits, even if the time is two hours later.
Vacation Time Equals Quality Family Time–Even With Toothbrushes!
These are good points from the expert sources. However, at Dentistry for Children, our favorite way to get children to brush and floss regularly is to join them. After all, it only takes a few minutes for mom or dad or both to brush with the kids. In the spirit of fun, it can be a few minutes of quality time that makes good oral health habits, a lifetime investment.
Don’t break good dental habits for the whole vacation. Just One week can be costly. If kids get out of good brushing habits, it will take 6-7 weeks to build the good habits of regular brushing and flossing into a routine again.
On Vacation But In A Dental Emergency? — “Who’re Ya Gonna Call?”
Secondly, be sure to take Dentistry for Children with you! Well, we do not mean literally, but take our contact information with you! Please put our numbers and email address into your Smartphone. Likewise, you could go “old school” and just put our business card in your wallet. Perhaps you should take both measures!
In case of a dental emergency, you can call us. Even over the phone, we can help you with many surprising dental situations. Special Hint: If you travel outside the USA, have a dental emergency, and you need a dentist, be careful. You can get impartial recommendations for local help through the US Embassy. After all, they are your American consulate staff might be more objective in their recdommendation than the hotel clerk.
Deny That Vacation Sweet Tooth–As Much As Possible!
Thirdly, at Dentistry for Children, we know kids are going to crave sugary treats on vacation. Your dentist needs your help to maintain good dental health, so please try not to let this aspect of your vacation get out of hand. Apples, carrots, and cauliflower can be inviting, served crisp and cold, as can many other appetizing snacks. As we always do, we especially urge you to avoid sugary drinks. They are addictive. You don’t want to return home with a new habit that’s bad for your dental health. However, returning home from vacation with the habit of drinking water instead of tea, soda or juice, is a great new habit.
When You Are Vacationing Up A Dental Creek…
Fourthly, if you are up a creek or a mountain without a toothbrush, or if you just forgot it, what do you do? Our advice is to use your finger or a piece of cloth. Be sure you rinse vigorously. By the way, what if you have the brush, but the water is not clean? Aha! Use your drinking water, right out of the bottle or the canteen.
A Vacation Brush That’s Cleaner Than A Whistle! (How To Pack A Brush!)
Fifth, keep that brush clean while you travel! You’d be surprised how simple and inexpensive it can be to accomplish this feat. All you need is a box of resealable plastic bags. When you travel, put your toothbrush, wet or dry, inside the protection of that plastic bag. Experts explain, “Letting your toothbrush air dry is how you keep your toothbrush clean at home, but that’s not always possible on vacation.” What’s a traveling toothbrush to do? There’s a trick answer to this question. Experts have solved this dental dilemma by saying, “Keeping your toothbrush clean and out of contact with other things is more important than making sure it’s dry on vacation.”
Vacation Treat: Good News For Gum Chewers!
Sixth, find a sugarless chewing gum with the ADA Seal. It will taste like a treat, but it’s actually good for your dental health, in moderation. If you chew it for 20 minutes after a meal, the saliva can help to wash away the bacteria that could cause cavities. That’s because it gets saliva flowing, which helps wash away cavity-causing bacteria. However, remember no type of gum-chewing equates to brushing and flossing.
A Small Dental Reminder: So, have a happy summer vacation! Then when you visit Dentistry for Children, be sure to bring us those beautiful vacation pictures with those dazzling smiles. Also, don’t forget, Dentistry for Children always experiences an end-of-summer rush, before back-to-school preparation begins. Thus, it’s wise to make your summer dental appointments before the very end of the season.