6 Ways to Keep Kids’ Teeth Healthy This Summer

happy valley dentists

Summer’s a time for fun and relaxation, but it can also be a time when our usual habits fall by the wayside. As leading Happy Valley dentists, our team at Clackamas Smiles is dedicated to helping families maintain healthy smiles year-round. Here are a few tips to keep in mind that will help you keep your kids’ smiles bright and healthy — even if they get a little stained by a snow cone every once in a while.

1. Brush up on Good Habits

The foundation of good family dental health is maintaining consistent habits. When summer arrives and breakfast leads directly into playtime, or bedtime gets a little later, any family’s habits can slip. As your family schedule changes, make sure that toothbrushing becomes a part of the new routine.

Summer break can be an opportunity to educate your children on how important oral health is. Teach them proper brushing and flossing techniques, and explain how certain foods and drinks can affect their teeth. Encourage them to take responsibility for their own dental care and make it a fun and interactive experience.

PRO TIP: An easy addition to the daily routine can be a mid-day dry brushing (it’s exactly what it sounds like!) – especially if you are prone to missing a morning or night-time brush once in awhile 

2. Emphasize Healthy Eating Habits

With barbeques and picnics come the temptations of frosty lemonade and ice cream. Summer can be a challenging time for maintaining a healthy diet. Encourage your kids to choose tooth-friendly options such as fresh fruits, vegetables, and dairy products. Keep an eye on sugary drinks and snacks, as these can contribute to tooth decay. Of course, we would never encourage a summer without ice cream, but all things in moderation.

PRO TIP: If your kiddos snack on the go, choose something more substantial like nuts, cheese, fruits, or veggies. Avoid crackers, goldfish, wheat thins, pretzels, etc (bready carbs can be almost as bad as sugars!)

3. Stay Hydrated

Staying hydrated is essential for overall health and dental well-being. Encourage your children to drink plenty of water during the hot summer months. Keep water bottles filled. Water not only keeps the body working as it should but it also washes away food particles, reducing the risk of tooth decay and dry mouth.

PRO TIP: Plain tap water is still the best for water bottles – keep it simple. Skip the sport drinks!

4. Protect Teeth Outdoors

Summer often means engaging in outdoor activities and sports. Make sure your children wear appropriate protective gear, such as mouthguards, when participating in contact sports. Mouthguards can help prevent dental injuries and keep your child’s smile safe. And no running near the pool!

PRO TIP: Horseplay and bicycle mishaps are the biggest threat to those brand new front teeth (pay attention 7-year-olds!)

5. Create a Family Dental Care Kit for Travel

If you’re planning a family vacation, remember to pack a dental care kit. Include travel-sized toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss, and a rinse to maintain oral hygiene while on the go. This simple step ensures your children’s dental care routine remains intact, no matter where their summer adventures take them.

PRO TIP: Even if you totally forget the toothpaste, the brushing action alone is the biggest helpful factor. Just grab some baking soda from the pantry and brush with a little of that 

6. Schedule Regular Dental Check-ups

Don’t let the summer break be a break from dental care. Regular dental visits with your dentist in Happy Valley allow our experienced professionals to monitor your child’s oral health, detect any issues early on, and provide preventive treatments to maintain their bright smiles. And when you schedule in the summer, those kids won’t miss any classes. Win-win.

PRO TIP: The biggest myth in dentistry is “I only have to go in if it hurts.” The truth is small problems almost never hurt, and they can be corrected early (or prevented altogether!) It’s less expensive and less uncomfortable than fixing a large problem or an emergency. 

Happy Valley, Oregon Dentist

As family dentists in Happy Valley, Oregon, Clackamas Smiles understands the importance of maintaining children’s dental health, even during summer vacation.

Don’t forget to schedule regular dental appointments with our caring team to keep your children’s oral health on track. Contact Clackamas Smiles today and give your child the gift of a beautiful, healthy smile that lasts a lifetime.