June is Oral Care Month and a great time to review your child’s dental routine and make sure you are following the right steps to protect your child’s smile from cavities. The summer months can be especially hard because kids are out of their normal school routines, there are parties, cook-outs, and snacks galore (especially ice cream!). Following these simple tips will help you keep your kids smiling and their teeth shining.
- Serve healthy snacks. Treats are fine, but reserve them for special occasions and provide your children with mouth-healthy snacks to fuel their summer activities. Raw vegetables (like celery, bell peppers, and carrots) are great for snacking. They are low in sugar, don’t stick to teeth, and can even clean teeth as they are chewed. Serve them with some yummy hummus for some extra protein.
- Go Greek! Greek yogurt can be served as a stand-alone snack, or used as a base for other tasty treats – like a dip for some raw vegetables. In multiple studies, Greek yogurt has been found to aid in gum health, strengthen teeth, reduce acid, and even fight bad breath. The protein and calcium in Greek yogurt is a bonus.
- Keep the water flowing. Kids need proper hydration for many reasons – including their oral hygiene! Water cleanses residues from teeth and keeps away excess sugar and starch build up. It can also remove food residue from between teeth, which keeps gums healthy and prevents oral disease. Additionally, fluoridated water can help your child’s teeth resist acidic foods.
- Find the right toothbrush. As soon as your child has a few baby teeth, you should start brushing. You can start out with a baby or toddler toothbrush that has a softer head and bristles for their sensitive gums. Brush twice a day and be sure to use children’s toothpaste, which is formulated specifically for kids. Rinse well after brushing. Brushing your child’s teeth from a young age not only keeps their mouth and gums healthy, it also builds great oral hygiene habits.
- Visit your pediatric dentist. Your pediatric dentist can identify any problems, show you best practices for brushing, flossing, and general oral care, and answer any questions that you have about your child’s teeth. It’s not too early to think about that back-to-school appointment!
Have fun and stay safe this summer! As always, you can contact us with any questions you may have about your child’s oral care.