With the weather getting warmer and the days getting longer, your child is likely looking forward to spending more time enjoying the great outdoors. If so, sunscreen and mosquito repellant are not the only protection they may need. Their smile is vulnerable to the sports they play and the summer treats they indulge in. Here are some tips to help keep your child’s chompers healthy, strong and safe this summer.
Smile Protecting Tips
- Mouth guard protection: During the summer, wearing a protective mouth guard is the number one safety gear they need, especially when they go to sports camps or participate in group games. Mouth guards are a great investment in your child’s healthy smile. Some are inexpensive and customizable while keeping your child’s teeth guarded and their jaws from clenching. You can get mouthguards online, in a sporting goods store or customized by your dentist.
- Bikes and skateboard accidents: With the shorter nights and longer days, it’s no wonder your child wants to enjoy the outdoors as much as possible! Still, these sports are exciting but also put your child’s smile at risk from accidents. Head injuries during these activities happen all too often, so make sure they wear a well-fitting helmet while zooming around.
- High impact contact sports: Group sports increase the odds of an oral injury, especially while participating in soccer, baseball, football, or basketball. Safeguard your child’s smile with an athletic mouth guard fitted for their teeth. Not only can it keep their teeth protected, but the soft oral tissues in their gums, cheeks, and lips, too.
- Water sports: Enjoying pool time is a popular summer favorite. Along with wearing a swim vest, wearing a sports guard while swimming can help keep them from losing a tooth, which is possible whenever they jump, dive into the water, or roughhousing with their friends. Water safety is important to protect their mouth and body while enjoying pool time.
- Sports drinks: Rehydrating with sports drinks may sound like a good idea while your child is out there expending excess energy, but the sugar and acids they contain can lead to tooth decay, enamel erosion, and cavities. Make sure to keep them hydrated with a chilled water bottle. It is better for their mouth and body!
- Summer snacking: Fresh cut-up fruits in season is a great way for your child to load up on the essential vitamins and antioxidants their growing body needs. Make sure they skip sugary popsicles, ice cream, and candy (or at least limit them) and have them brush their teeth after indulging. You can also whip up healthier versions using fresh or frozen fruit and a blender.
- Daily oral hygiene: A relaxed summer routine does not mean your child should let up on their daily brushing and flossing habits. If they are snacking on sweets or chips, cleaning their teeth is more important than ever. It is crucial to get rid of the harmful acids and sugars that will damage their smile.
- Dental checkups and exams: Your child needs routine dental cleanings and checkups year-round. It is too easy to miss a scheduled summer dental appointment if you are distracted by vacations and sports activities. But your child’s teeth do not need a holiday from good dental care, so be sure to help them stay current with their visits.
Summer Activities for Healthier Smiles
Keeping your child’s smile safe this summer is easy if you follow these tips! To reinforce your child’s healthy smile habits this season, download some of these coloring and activity sheets so they can learn how to better care for their smile!
- 2022 Brushing Calendar
- Sports Safety
- National Nutrition Month
- Back to School
- Tooth Fairy
- Sugar Wars
- Defeat Monster Mouth
- Color and Count
- Oral Health Made Easy
- Sesame Street