Your kids are probably sitting on the edge of their seats now and barely able to contain themselves. You on the other hand might be dreading this moment! What are we talking about? The end of the school year! (Do you hear the scary dramatic music in your head right now?) Summer means many different things to families. Vacations, relaxing in the backyard, camping or enjoying a weekend drive around town, perhaps stopping for ice cream. Summer is a super time to enjoy all of these things but please remember – summer is no time to take a vacation from your teeth!
Temptation is high in the summer to both drink and eat to excess and we don’t always make the best choices. Children are particularly susceptible to the lure of the popsicle or the siren call of the ice cream truck. As with most things in life, it’s important to remember the old adage: “all things in moderation.” Of course, who doesn’t want to enjoy a treat on a hot day? Just remember that it shouldn’t be every day! Wherever possible, these kinds of treats should be enjoyed mid day through early evening at the latest and an opportunity to at least rinse the mouth with water should be made available. Brushing after enjoying a treat is the ideal but of course that’s not always possible so rinsing is the next best thing. Even chewing sugar free gum can help rid the mouth of sugary residue until you have time to brush at home.
Sugary drinks are another summer highlight and of course, we drink more in summer too. Again, the important thing to remember here is moderation. If your children are younger, you should consider diluting juice, lemonade and “Kool-Aid” type beverages with water. I know of a number of families who started doing this for their children from a very young age and the children don’t even realize they are getting “less” juice or lemonade. With everyone carrying personal water bottles these days, diluting is easy to do. Even better – drink water! In the summer months we are at a significantly higher risk of dehydration and yes that can affect your teeth and gums too. Drinking water keeps your skin on the outside and your gums on the inside well hydrated and therefore healthy. Additionally, if you’re drinking water – you aren’t drinking those sugary drinks that are also potentially full of damaging citric acids.
There is plenty more we can say on the topic of summer tooth care so stay tuned. In the meantime remember that just because schools out, it doesn’t mean teeth should fall out! Keep your oral care routines going throughout the summer months and as always, we invite you to call or visit us anytime and remind you ”don’t forget to be a BFF with your mouth and Brush that SMILE!”