Dental health Tips: Dental health can often suffer from vacation schedules. With children up for late nights and out for early mornings, we know it’s easy to overlook dental attention. As they have for many years here at Dentistry for Children, our patients from Oviedo, Orlando and Central Florida are chattering about upcoming vacations and summer joys. So, perhaps a few tips for dental health could be in order.
Vacation, Dental Health Tips, Summer and COVID-19 Cautions
With masks and social distancing, there has never been a summer like 2020. But, as the state continues opening businesses, we see families reinvigorating the joys of summer vacation.
Recent July 4 fun and festivities just seemed to whet children’s appetites for more family adventures. Whether you are planning a trip near or far, or a stay-cation in the backyard, we have some serious tips for summer dentistry.
Dental Health Cannot Take a Holiday
Every year about this time, we feel obligated to help you pack some dental tips for your vacation. We thought you would like to have a new list of special dental health precautions and reminders.
And this year, we also have to mention that COVID-19 is not exactly over. You must continue to be vigilant about hand-washing, especially during trips. Likewise, it is still appropriate to discourage face touching. And do not forget your wipes and sanitizer. But now, let’s move on to the 6 most important dental health tips for your vacation.
Tooth Decay Packs Up For a Destructive Vacation: Beware
Recently, we coined the phrase, “Tooth Decay takes No Vacay.” Dental problems are on a mission to destroy children’s dental health. And you can bet “sugar-bugs” will be out in force to ruin kids’ pretty smiles.
1. So the number one tip at “Dentistry for Children” is that we must warn parents: kids cannot avoid regular brushing and flossing routines. Many of our patients are still recovering from lax habits during the quarantine. We do not want your children to return from vacation with ugly new cavities.
2. Secondly, did you know we want you to take Dentistry for Children with you? Please put our numbers and email address in your smartphone. You see, in case of a dental emergency, you can call us. If your child chips or breaks a tooth, our advice is only a phone call away.
Sweet Treats: Decay Lurks in Vacation Treats and Drinks
3. Thirdly, at Dentistry for Children, we know kids are going to crave treats on vacation. And our number one offender is sugary drinks. They are addictive. Yes, even 3 days can instill a new habit that will be very destructive to your child’s dental health in the future.
We suggest that you 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.
4. Our Fourth Dental Heath Tip: The Rinse
If you cannot find a way to brush after candy or dessert, encourage children to give their mouths a hearty rinsing to drown all the sugar-bugs.
Quick Tips to Tooth-Friendly Camping
5. Fifth, we have advice for some of our outdoorsy families who are going camping. What do you do if you are up a creek without a toothbrush? It’s easy. Use your own finger or a piece of cloth with some toothpaste. Yes, we’ve heard of mountain men who use the exposed wood fibers of a fresh stick. However, we also know you can get splinters in your gums. So please don’t try this.
6. Finally, our Sixth Tip, let’s keep our brushes as clean as possible. We do not want any infection to spread to the tender tissues of the mouth. It’s simple and cheap to protect your family’s toothbrushes.
Just put your toothbrush, wet or dry, inside the protection of an ordinary, small re-sealable plastic bag. Normally, we endorse air-drying your tooth brushes. However, when camping or traveling, experts say, “Keeping your toothbrush clean and out of contact with other things is more important than making sure it’s dry…”
New Research on Oral Bacteria and COVID-19: News Flash
This year in our concern for COVID-19, the above six dental health tips for your vacation are more important than ever before. This is because “British researchers have found a link between poor oral hygiene and severity of COVID-19…”
You can understand why this would concern us greatly. Several remarkable dental resources in the United Kingdom collaborated on a new COVID-19 and dental health study.
Researchers Victoria Sampson, from the dental practice 38 Devonshire Street, London, Nawar Kamona from the Centre for Nutrition Education & Lifestyle Management (CNELM), London and Ariane Sampson from Orthodontics, Cambridge University Hospital Trust.
They went on a mission to find the connection between the severity of patients’COVID-19 infections. They looked at the patients’ poor oral hygiene and subsequent poor dental health.
The Scientists entitled their study, “Could there be a link between oral hygiene and the severity of SARS-CoV-2 infections?” And they published their findings in the latest issue of the journal British Dental Journal.
A New and Very Important Reason to Teach Kids about Their Dental Health
To put it simply the scientists studied the complications of COVID-19 in relation to good dental health.
- Many people who were recently very sick with COVID-19 were previously in good health before they caught the virus. So, the scientists studied dental health in such patients. They explored the oral microbiome or the microbial flora of the mouth.
- Likewise they analyzed the microbial connection with the COVID-19 outcome. And they found large amounts of microbes in the mouth of the seemingly healthy patients, obviously the fault of poor dental hygiene.
- The authors of the research wrote in conclusion that there was a “…connection between high bacterial load in the mouth and post-viral complications,”
Conclusions of New Research: Dental Health Tips and COVID-19
They also established that “improving oral health may reduce the risk of complications from COVID-19.”(Find out much more about their new study at this reliable online resource.
Finally, the researchers wrote, “inadequate oral hygiene can increase the risk of inter-bacterial exchanges between the lungs and the mouth…” And the report continues, This can result in “increasing the risk of respiratory infections and potentially post-viral bacterial complications.”
Imagine the World Beyond COVID-19
As you might guess, this could be true of future viruses. Good dental health helps fight the virus. Thus teaching your child the habits of good oral hygiene could increase his or her chances of avoiding, not only COVID-19, but other viruses in future life.
We think that’s powerful knowledge, and a big dividend on simple brushing and flossing.
Results of the study: Brushing and Flossing: More Important to Your Child’s Future than You Ever Imagined
The team wrote, “Good oral hygiene has been recognized as a means to prevent airway infections in patients…” The scientists also found that, “Those with periodontal disease are at a 25 percent raised risk of heart disease…”
The Team continued… “thrice the risk of getting diabetes, and 20 percent raised risk of getting high blood pressure…” Then, they added, “These are all risk factors of severe COVID-19…”
In the end, good dental health could become as important as masks and hand-washing as we confront the viral diseases of the twenty-first century.
So, please do not let a vacation interfere with your child’s development of healthy oral hygiene. Use our six vacation tips above for dental health—and have a great time.
Give your child the gift of good dental health in the future through good dental habits now. It might be more important than you think.
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