How To Help Your Child Maintain Oral Hygiene Routines Over Summer Vacation
When summertime hits, the routines of the school year tend to fly out the window. Depending on your summer arrangements, kids stay up later at night, sleep in later in the morning, and adopt various freedoms during the day. Though many parents try to keep as much structure as possible, the fact is it’s summertime, and it’s time to relax and unwind. Yet even though we want to encourage that summertime fun, there are some things that we need to ensure our kids follow through with all the time, and not just during the school year. One of those things is their oral hygiene routine.
Keep your kid’s oral hygiene routine a priority throughout the summer.
Many parents underestimate the importance of their kids’ oral hygiene routine. It’s easy to think kids are resilient and won’t get cavities because they are young and healthy. Yet according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over half of kids between the ages of six and eight have a cavity in their baby teeth. And 57% of teens between 12 and 19 years have a cavity in their permanent teeth.
As you can see, kids are highly susceptible to cavities. It comes from the sugary and starchy foods that they eat. But a more significant issue is that many kids don’t brush and floss their teeth properly. This makes the need for an oral hygiene routine that much more critical.
Tips to keep that oral hygiene routine top of mind.
Here are some helpful tips to help your child stick to that oral hygiene routine, even during the summer.
1. Keep your morning routine as consistent as possible.
Though your child might sleep in a bit later during the summer, create a routine similar to the pattern they follow during the school year. A great way to do this is through a morning checklist. Typical morning checklist items could include:
- Make your bed.
- Have breakfast.
- Get dressed.
- Brush your teeth.
A simple routine like this one can reinforce the need for good oral care and help make their day more predictable. Not only that but, by checking off these items on their list before the day gets too far along, your kid will feel a sense of accomplishment.
2. Take your child shopping for new oral care products.
Kids love getting new stuff. Even something as simple as picking out a new, colorful toothbrush and a kid-friendly mouthwash can be a fun experience. Kids are more likely to buy into a routine when they have some say. Since you should replace your toothbrush every three to four months anyway, the beginning of the summer is an excellent time to make the change. And do it again in September when it’s time for the kids to head back to school.
3. Don’t forget the toothbrush and floss for sleepovers.
Sleepovers are a right of passage during childhood. And what kid doesn’t love the opportunity to spend the night at a friend’s house, munching on popcorn and watching movies until the late hours of the night (or wee hours of the morning)? Unfortunately, sleepovers create the perfect situation for kids to forget to brush and floss. Not only that, but many kids fail to pack their oral care tools for sleepovers in the first place. So, the next time your child gets invited to a sleepover, make sure they pack their toothbrush and floss. Don’t hesitate to ask the parents of your child’s friend to remind your child to brush and floss too.
4. Look for a new toothbrushing song.
Getting kids to brush their teeth for two minutes can be challenging. Toothbrushing songs and apps can help ensure your kid brushes for an adequate amount of time and has fun. Consider the summer an excellent time to find a new song or try a new app with helpful toothbrushing tips.
5. Schedule your child for their next dental cleaning.
If your child is overdue for their dentist appointment, now is the time to get it on the calendar. Summertime is a great time to bring your child in for dental cleaning. And professional dental cleaning is the only way to remove stubborn tartar that has hardened onto your child’s teeth. If staying on top of your kids’ appointments is challenging, we offer dental membership plans near Lakeway, Texas, making it easy to keep on a schedule and afford your care.
Visit Tomasik Family Dental as part of your child’s oral hygiene routine each summer.
We love visits from our young patients during the summer. Hearing about their summer activities makes our day. It also allows us to reiterate the importance of an oral hygiene routine year-round. If your child is due for professional dental cleaning, request an appointment withTomasik Family Dental today.