It’s been a long year and summer has finally arrived along with all the fun things that come with it. While we all enjoy the wonderful things that summer brings, our Calgary dentist reminds you to not forget to help your kids stick with their home dental care routine. Keeping your child’s smile healthy, happy and cavity free during the summer months will help to avoid dealing with potentially larger issues after the long days of summer are over. Below our Calgary dentist gives three simple tips to help maintain your child’s summertime dental health.
HELP YOUR CHILD STICK WITH THEIR HOME DENTAL HEALTHCARE ROUTINE
There’s no doubt that having your kids stay up late to roast marshmallows over a campfire or play with their besties is one of the best parts about summer. But don’t let staying up late lead to your little ones not brushing and flossing their teeth before bedtime.
Keeping your children on a consistent oral hygiene routine is important all year round, even while on vacation. Also consider that, during the summer and especially while away from home on vacation, your child may be eating more sugary snacks and drinks throughout the day, so brushing their teeth twice a day will be as important as ever.
As with adults and older children, young children should be brushing their teeth for at least two minutes at a time, twice per day. According to our Calgary dentist, young children should be supervised while they brush their teeth to ensure that they are brushing long enough and are not missing any areas of their mouth. Additionally, our Calgary dentist reminds parents that, if your child is old enough to know not to swallow toothpaste (usually over 3 years of age), then a toothpaste with fluoride should be used, but only a pea sized amount. For children under 3 years of age, speak with your dentist about whether the risk of developing cavities merits using fluoridated toothpaste. If so, use only a rice sized amount. If not, then use a moistened toothbrush only. If your child over 3 years of age is at risk of swallowing toothpaste, then use a toothpaste that does not contain any fluoride. For children over 3 years of age, use only a pea sized amount of toothpaste.
In addition to brushing their teeth, our Calgary dentist also recommends that, as soon as your child has two teeth to floss between, you should also be flossing your child’s teeth. Because most young children do not have the manual dexterity to floss their own teeth, be sure to help them out and make sure it’s done properly. If dental floss is too difficult for either you or your child to use, trying using other types of interdental cleaners that are available at your local pharmacy or at our dentist office in Calgary.
If your child needs a little motivation to keep them on track during the summer, try using a tooth brushing calendar which you should be able to easily find online, including on the American Dental Association’s website. If you are a patient of our office, then you can ask for one at your next dental visit, as we always have some on hand for our littlest patients.
ENCOURAGE HEALTHY EATING HABITS
While many of us tend to indulge in treats at summer family outings, sporting events and vacations, don’t let the convenience of canned or bottled sugary drinks and packaged treats get you off track from staying healthy. Although sugary drinks and snacks are fine once in a while, encourage your child to drink water and milk throughout the day and of course to brush their teeth after eating, especially after enjoying sugary snacks.
Another easy thing you can do to keep your child’s smile healthy and happy during the summer months is to encourage them to reach for healthy snacks made from whole foods, such as fruits and raw vegetables with dip. Our Calgary dentist also recommends that you limit your child from snacking all day long, or grazing, as this can lead to an increase in cavities. Taking a break from eating and snacking allows saliva to do its job and clean and bathe your child’s teeth and gums, thereby washing away any leftover food particles and promoting good oral health.
BOOK YOUR BACK TO SCHOOL DENTIST APPOINTMENT EARLY
As the summer days begin to get shorter, it’s a good time to think about booking your child’s dental appointment with our Calgary dentist. Booking early can save you from feeling the August rush of scrambling to get everything ready for school. Further, if our Calgary dentist sees anything that requires additional appointments, these appointments can be scheduled prior to school restarting so your child does not have to miss any school days.
Keeping your child’s smile healthy and happy during the summer months is as easy as ensuring these simple steps are taken:
- make sure your child sticks with their home oral healthcare routine
- encourage your child to eat and drink healthy foods and drinks (water is best!)
- make a dental appointment for your child well before school restarts in September
If you would like to book a dental appointment with our Calgary dentist during the summer months, our office remains open and appointments are available on a day and time that is convenient for you. Dr. Dirk Thompson and his entire dental team at Advance Your Health Dental love seeing children and take a preventative and educational approach so your child can both understand and appreciate the value of a healthy smile. Call us today at 403.283.4252. We’d be honoured to be your family’s partner in your dental health.
This blog post written by our Calgary dentist, Dr. Dirk Thompson, D.D.S., is for informational purposes only. It is not to be taken or used as a substitute for dental, medical or other professional advice, treatment or diagnosis. Always ask your dentist, physician or other healthcare professional for advice before altering your diet or healthcare routine. Individual patient needs and oral healthcare concerns vary so please consult your dentist for more information about your specific dental health requirements.
Copyright 2021: Dirk A. Thompson Professional Corporation operating as Advance Your Health Dental. Dr. Dirk A. Thompson, D.D.S., is a general dentist in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
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