As summertime approaches, you can feel the excitement in the air. Summertime for kids is one of the most exciting seasons of the year. They replace their tired school backpacks with beach bags, and sports bags. It’s time for little league baseball, soccer, swimming, playing at the park, and bike riding. Parents don’t know whether to be happy or a nervous wreck worrying about their kids getting injured!
Here is some helpful advice for summertime, kids and dentistry. While accidents are bound to happen, taking precaution and quick action can be the difference between a great summer and a potentially horrible with if a dental emergency arises.
- To minimize the chance of injuring their teeth, young athletes who participate in both contact and non-contact sports should wear custom-fitted mouth guards.
- Athletes should visit their dentist on a regular basis to check for unusual tooth wear.
- If the worst happens and a tooth is knocked loose or comes out, seek emergency dental treatment immediately.
- In the case of a tooth being knocked out, be careful not to touch the root. Ideally, you should replant the tooth in the empty socket, even part way is ok.If the tooth is contaminated, rinse it gently with milk. Bring the tooth in milk to the dentist asap. Get to a dentist within 30 minutes.
Summertime also brings the tendency to “skip” good oral hygiene practices. When kids are out of their “school routine” they tend to forget to brush and floss. Also, during the summer, kids are snacking more frequently, which ups their chances of tooth decay.
Studies have shown frequent snacking increases the risk of tooth decay, as teeth are continuously being bathed in sugars, creating an acid when mixed with plaque, a sure fire recipe for tooth decay.
So how can you help?
- Limit the snacks your child grazes on during the summer months to 1 to 2 healthier snacks a day, try to avoid sugary drinks, sports and energy drinks and sodas as much as possible.
- Set a new regularly scheduled oral hygiene regimen. A mandatory set daily time for brushing and flossing.
- For younger children you may also want to create a chart system for brushing. For each day the child brush during the summer a star may be placed on a chart and after a certain number of stars the child is rewarded with a treat.