Summer’s here and we’re so excited about it! A break from the homework and the out-of-the-house rush in the mornings without forgetting backpacks or snack packs is due. Pool parties, barbecues, grill parties, sports team tournaments, rec league games, and all the other summer fun activities are already bringing smiles to your kids’ faces and sweetening their dreams. Nevertheless, those same activities that make them smile, can be hard on those very same smiles. What do we mean by that? Well, the snacks, the drinks, and the types of foods we ingest at these parties can be harmful to our teeth. With this in mind, we’ve put together a list of tips for summer fun to help you and your kids take care of their smiles.

Hot Tips for Healthy Summer Smiles

1. Choose Crushed Ice

This one may seem like it’s coming at you out of the left-field, but it’s a great tip that’s easy to gain your kids’ approval for. The truth is, that crunching on ice cubes is harmful to the enamel on our teeth. Crunching ice can crack the enamel of the tooth which can result in cold sensitivity and increased vulnerability to cavities. Add to that, the potential for actually chipping or cracking a tooth, which is a legitimately shocking and even painful experience, do we need to say more? Bottom line, everyone wants ice-cold drinks, especially in the Utah summer heat, and we can’t begrudge anyone that desire, so here’s your workaround. Choose crushed ice whenever possible!

2. Mouth Guards Make a Difference

Just because school sports are on a break, doesn’t mean your kids won’t be playing this summer. Whether it’s competitive tournaments, or a more casual rec league doesn’t matter when it comes to the propensity for dental emergencies. Mouth guards are essential for any sport. A large portion of our emergency dental visits to the office are a result of a broken or chipped tooth from a ball game, a bike crash, or simply falling on the wet, slippery surface by the pool. Mouth guards will protect their teeth in those types of situations, even the more economical versions found at your local store. Give us a call to learn more about a custom-fitted mouth guard that will have the advantage of increased comfort.

3. Ensure Crunchy Veggies Are Available

You won’t be the menu master at other people’s home parties, but you sure are for your own! When you’re planning a summer bash, make sure you put out vegetable platters with crunchy carrots, celery, bell pepper, broccoli, cauliflower, and more. Go further, and integrate these vegetables into your daily snack options for your kids. Take a morning or afternoon and prep them by cleaning, peeling, and slicing so they’re easy to grab or pack if your kids are headed out the door. Not only are vegetables rich in vitamins, but the crunchiness serves as a scrubber for the teeth, helping to remove sugars or other food debris that is otherwise lodged in their teeth. Also, why not bring a veggie platter to your neighbor’s pool party?

4. Lemonade in Moderation

Who doesn’t love a lemonade or a limeade in the summertime? Your teeth, that’s who. These delicious summer drinks are a double whammy on teeth: the citrus runs an assault the enamel while the enormous amount of sugar dives in and hides in the nooks and crannies looking for vulnerabilities. We generally prefer to avoid doling out a hard ‘no’ on anything as we know that kids often love what they can’t have, yet we encourage these types of drinks to be limited. Also, after a limeade or a lemonade follow it up with a generous swig of water. Swish the water around and spit it out to help wash away residue citrus and sugars.

5. Refillable Water Bottles

We love the benefits of water, as demonstrated in the aforementioned lemonade tip. In general, swishing and then spitting a mouthful of water after any snack or meal that has sugars, sauces, or stickiness is highly recommended. When your kids are out and about, they are less likely to splurge on a soda or other sugary drink if their water bottle is already on hand. The same goes for you, parents. Carrying around your water bottle sets a positive example for your kids, and will help you moderate the temptation to buy yourself a cold sugary drink when you’re sitting in the sun watching a game, or hanging by the pool or grill. Other benefits to utilizing refillable water bottles include the fluoride benefit from the city’s water supply, and the cash benefit as well. $1.50 (or more) every day adds up.

6. Travel Toothbrush and Toothpaste

At any local drugstore, you can find travel-sized toothpaste and toothbrushes that will fit easily into your purse, your kid’s backpack or sports bag, and even the console of your car. Make brushing teeth a priority, even when your family is on a road trip or weekend getaway.

8. Schedule a Cleaning

The majority of dental insurance plans these days cover two cleanings per year. When was the last time your kids had a cleaning? If you can schedule around vacations, getting in for cleanings during the summer is easier than pulling them out of school, or utilizing the short afternoons Monday through Friday during the school year. Utilize your dental plan to its maximum benefit, and schedule cleanings for your kids this summer.

Call Utah Pediatric Dentists Today

We have three fully equipped and staffed office locations waiting to hear from you. Our team of staff is dedicated to happy kids with healthy smiles. We’re just a phone call away, and look forward to hearing from you! Happy summer, we hope you enjoy it to the fullest!