School may be out for summer, but it’s important to make sure kids don’t take a vacation from dental care.
The dental plaque that contributes to tooth decay and gum disease doesn’t take a break. In fact, summer is often filled with sweet treats that can fuel plaque accumulation without proper care. Following, Austin dentist Dr. Dan Matthews offers four simple measures you and your family can take to protect your teeth and maintain a bright, healthy smile over the summer.
1. Snack Healthy
Summer is accompanied by sugary temptations such as ice cream, popsicles and snow cones, and snack foods like chips and granola bars (which in many cases may as well be candy bars). But it is also a time when many great fruits and vegetables are in season. Switch up snack offerings to include kid-friendly fresh fruits and veggies like blueberries, strawberries, apples, carrots, celery, etc.
2. Limit Sugary Drinks
Soda and juice are popular go-to beverages in the summer. In fact, soda companies market their products to young audiences as the choice for summer social outings. Sodas and many juices are filled with harmful sugars and acids, and research shows that soft drinks play a substantial role in premature tooth decay. If water alone seems a boring substitute, you can try fruit-infused water, or homemade lemonade or limeade (in which you control the sugar).
3. Don’t Forget to Brush
It’s easy for some kids to skip brushing over the summer. They may be in a hurry to get out the door in the morning, or may stay up later than usual at night. However, it’s important to continue to brush at least twice daily and floss at least once daily. It’s best to brush after breakfast, and to make sure to brush again before going to bed but after any nighttime snacks. Your dental hygiene routine shouldn’t be a chore; it just takes a few minutes a couple times a day. Yet a 2014 survey found that 30 percent of Americans don’t brush often enough, and summer’s distractions can cause brushing to be overlooked.
4. Visit Your Dentist
Summer is a great time for a dental checkup. Many kids have open schedules, and summer provides a good halfway point for children’s recommended twice-yearly dental exams and teeth cleanings. In addition to a checkup and thorough cleaning, these visits are an opportunity for your dentist to help you and your child reinforce proper brushing and flossing habits.
Dr. Dan Matthews understands the connection between your oral health and your overall health. If you’re seeking compassionate, comprehensive dental care in the Austin, Texas, area, please call Dan Matthews, DDS, today at 512-520-0606 to schedule your appointment at our comfortable Bee Cave Road office.