With school out and summer in, kids are outside a lot. This means more activities and playtime that can lead to accidental tooth injuries. It can also mean getting out of a routine and skipping important morning and evening brushing and flossing habits. So here are a few tips from pediatric dentist Dr. Angela Lee Masterson of Amazing Kids Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics in Carmel Valley to help take care of your teeth while school is out:
- First, establish a brushing and flossing routine if you do not already have one. The American Dental Association recommends brushing twice a day for two minutes with a soft bristled toothbrush. It also recommends flossing once per day to maintain optimal oral hygiene.
- Second, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends establishing a dental home by 12 months old. This means arranging a visit to the pediatric dentist when your baby turns one year old. Usually, your baby’s first tooth will erupt at 6 months of age, signaling the right time to start brushing. Meeting with a pediatric dentist can help you learn how to take care of your child’s teeth, gums, and possible tongue or lip ties, as well as what to expect over the next couple years.
- Third, let’s discuss how to deal with tooth accidents and emergencies. Summertime means more outside activities, including organized sports and swimming pool fun or going on vacation. Accidents like bumping into the side of the pool or slipping on the pool deck can sometimes happen. To help prevent tooth injuries, we recommend being mindful when playing outdoors. Avoid running around the pool with wet feet, watch where you are jumping to avoid bumping into the pool edges.
- Extra tip: In the event a tooth falls out or breaks off due to a fall or accident, the best solution for preserving it is Hank’s Balanced Salt Solution (HBSS). If HBSS is unavailable, milk or your own saliva are the best alternatives. See your dentist within two hours for the best chances of saving your tooth if this happens!
Healthy Snacks for Summer
Fresh fruit slices
For optimal oral hygiene, it is best to rinse your mouth and teeth with water after each meal or snack to remove food residue. Water contains essential minerals like fluoride, which helps to remineralize your teeth after eating. Moreover, water acts as a neutralizing agent for the acids present in food and drinks, safeguarding your teeth from damage and reducing the likelihood of cavities.
Lastly, maintain your six-month periodic exam visits to make sure you are staying on top of your hygiene and avoiding any cavities.
We hope you found this helpful and wish you the best summer ever!