Woman with a healthy smile enjoying the summer weather

School's out, and summer is finally here! But play dates, late nights watching movies, and vacations can throw off your kids' usual dental routine. Don't let their break from school become a vacation from healthy dental habits.

The dental hygiene habits your kids develop when they're young will last them into adulthood. Help your kids stay on track this summer with these tips for a healthy, cavity-free smile.

1. Keep a Healthy Dental Routine

When it comes to children, oral hygiene is often the first thing thrown to the wind during summer break. Kids are excitable, and it can be hard for them to remember to brush and floss amidst all the activities they're involved in. For a healthy, cavity-free mouth, ideally, they should be brushing twice daily and flossing before bed. No matter how big or small they are, it's important to supervise children to ensure their oral hygiene is up to par.

Making routine brushing a group activity, especially at night, is a great way to encourage kids to brush and help make them accountable for their oral health. It’s also a fun and easy way to ensure that your independent child is keeping their smile healthy and free from cavities so that regular trips to the dentist are pleasant ones.

2. Keep the Sweets and Treats to a Minimum

It's so easy to fall into a bad diet during the summer months, with all the backyard parties and trips to the beach. While it's okay to indulge in sugary snacks and treats occasionally, this shouldn’t be an all-day, everyday thing—Trade in the chips and candies for celery, baby carrots, and other healthy vegetables whenever possible.

Another tip is to avoid grazing throughout the day and eliminate late-night snacking. The constant intake of sugar means bacteria will linger in your child's mouth, increasing the risk of cavities and potential tooth decay. 

Providing healthy snack options for your kids and maintaining a balanced diet will ensure they sport a healthy smile all summer long.

3. Drink Water – Lots of It!

The summer heat can have you reaching for sodas and sports drinks throughout the day. While it’s important to stay hydrated, sugary drinks can lead to tooth decay. Instead, have your kids drink as much water as possible between meals.

Drinking water not only helps their dental health by flushing away sugar and food particles that remain on their teeth, but it'll improve their overall health.

4. Off to Vacation? Don’t Forget the Dental Essentials

Is there anything more hectic than taking a vacation with kids? Probably not. But make sure the kids pack all their dental essentials can help ease your headache. Be sure to add a travel toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss, and mouthwash to your vacation shopping list! This will save you time and hassle later and keep the kids on track with their oral hygiene when away from home.

If your kids are heading off to sports camp, ensure they have a mouthguard in hand. Summer is a great time for sports activities, and accidents can happen. Coming home with chipped teeth or other oral injuries will quickly end the excitement of summer not to mention put a dent in your wallet.  Mouthguards are available over the counter at your local pharmacy, are inexpensive, and greatly reduce the risk of injury.

5. Make Your Back-to-School Dental Visit Early

If your child is due for a preventative dental check-up, try not to wait until the last minute to make an appointment. Lots of schools require back-to-school dental visits, and you don’t want to miss out on a convenient appointment time with all the other to-do items on your list when preparing for back-to-school.

Avoid the August rush. This way, your child doesn't have to miss any class time once school resumes. Remember, regular dental check-ups go a long way in keeping your kid's teeth healthy and strong all year long. 

Schedule a Dentist Appointment for Your Kids Today!

There’s no reason to wait. At Kanehl Dental, we make it a priority to educate our young patients on good oral hygiene. Help your kids keep a healthy summer smile by scheduling an appointment with us. 

Contact our office to learn more about our comprehensive dental services for kids of all ages.