Tips To Keep Your Family Smiling This Summer
School will be out soon, and students will be enjoying a few months of summer vacation. This means lots of time for fun and games.
But it also means there are opportunities for oral health problems. You want to keep your family smiling throughout the summer (and for years to come), so now is a great time to review some warm weather dental health tips.
That includes scheduling a visit to Hubbard & Leath Dental for a professional dental cleaning and exam. If there is a problem, we want to find it and treat it as early as possible. If everything looks good, we want to help you keep it that way.
If there is one thing most kids can do, it’s eat and eat … and eat some more. Parents know this all too well.
Left to their own devices, your kids might eat ice cream every meal. While an ice cream cone every now and then is a great treat, you also understand the oral health risks of eating sugary treats all the time. And this includes sugary drinks like soda, fruit and fruit-flavored juices, and sports drinks.
The bacteria in our mouths feed on the sugars in the foods that we eat. The more sugar they get, they more they can thrive. The more sugar your kids eat, the more likely they are to develop cavities.
You don’t want that, and your kids don’t either, even if they might not think through the consequences of eating cookies all day.
Too much starchy food can present issues as well. Too much bread or too many crackers and chips can present problems as well.
No one is saying you can never have these things. Just remember to eat a well-balanced diet that includes fruits, vegetables, grains, proteins (meat and beans), and milk.
By planning ahead now, you can encourage your kids to eat healthy. That includes keeping healthy snacks on hand for your kids to eat and setting limits on how much snacking they do.
One of the great things about summer is playing outside. Whether your kids are playing a game with their friends in the neighborhood or participating in organized youth sports, they are staying active.
Being out in the heat also can lead to dehydration. One of the symptoms can be dry mouth. When your mouth is dry, you are increasing your risk of gum disease and tooth decay.
Drinking water can help with both of those issues. Water keeps your body hydrated, which helps to keep saliva in your mouth. Water doesn’t have the sugars and other additives you find in sports drinks and other beverages, either.
It’s also good for your kids to drink water whenever they do eat a sugary or starchy treat. Water can help wash away food particles that might get stuck on or between teeth, too.
Protect Your Teeth
Protecting your mouth is a constant effort. Bacteria are always ready to start making plaque and to start eating into your teeth to create cavities. Brushing twice daily and flossing daily can help keep bacteria under control.
But bacteria isn’t the only way you can hurt your smile.
Anyone who plays sports understand that bumps and bruises are part of the game. That’s why many sports require protective gear, such as helmets or shin guards.
It’s also why your kids should be wearing athletic mouthguards during any sport they play — including summer sports. Did you know that baseball causes more dental injuries among 7- to 13-year-olds than any other sport in the United States?
Wearing a mouthguard that fits properly reduces the risk of a lost or broken tooth as a result of accidental injuries to the face or falls. If you have questions about what kind of mouthguards are right for your children, contact Hubbard & Leath anytime.
While we are here to help in the event of a dental emergency, we would prefer to help you avoid one if we can.
Be Proactive About Oral Health
Before the summer starts, take some time to talk to your kids about what they can do to keep their mouths healthy.
Let them help you pick out healthy snacks they will eat. Talk to them about when they might have treats like ice cream. Encourage them to wear mouthguards whenever they are practicing or playing sports and to drink water to stay hydrated.