June 16, 2019
Your children look forward to summer, and you probably do too. Everyone in the family is a little more relaxed with the kids out of school. They get to sleep in more often, don’t have to worry about homework, and participate in lots of fun activities like swimming and sports with their friends.
While many summer activities are great for your children’s overall health, some of them aren’t as good for their teeth. The good news is, it’s pretty easy to keep your children’s teeth healthy with a few simple changes.
Check out Dr. Steven Airey’s advice on keeping your children’s teeth healthy this summer, then call Appalachian Dental Care at 828-355-5673 if you have any questions for us or need to make an appointment.
Be Careful of Chlorine Exposure
Many kids enjoy swimming. While it’s good exercise for their body, it’s potentially unhealthy for their teeth. Pool water is highly acidic, because it’s been treated with chlorine and other chemicals. Like other acids, it can erode tooth enamel, leaving your children’s teeth weaker and more prone to cavities. It can also cause dry mouth, another condition that will make your children’s teeth more susceptible to decay.
That doesn’t mean you have to keep your kids out of the pool, though. If they are swimming in your pool, try to keep the pH level at about 7.5. Keep water nearby and have them rinse out their mouths with water when they are done swimming.
Make Time for Dental Exams
If your schedule does fill with summer activities, it may be tempting to postpone your children’s dental checkups. That’s a bad idea, though. As busy as you are now, your calendar is bound to get even more packed when school starts. During their visit, we will also clean your children’s teeth to help keep them cavity-free. We’ll fix small issues like cavities to prevent them from becoming larger problems. Dr. Airey may also suggest preventive care like fluoride and/or dental sealants.
Protect Your Children’s Teeth During Sports
If your children play sports, they should wear mouthguards to keep their teeth safe from wild throws and other dangers. Dr. Airey can fit them for custom mouthguards, which will fit much better than those purchased from a sporting goods store or other retailer. If a mouthguard fits, your child won’t be tempted to leave it on the sidelines while they play.
Make Smart Snack Choices for Your Children’s Teeth
With children at home during the day, they’ll be snacking more. It’s important to offer them healthy choices. Among the best choices for their dental health:
- Fruits and Vegetables –Snacking on fresh fruits and veggies is good for your children’s teeth, and the rest of them too. They’re a tasty way to consume more water, which is important in hot, humid weather. The best choices include apples, carrots, and celery. The water and fiber in them can even help scrub away particles of other foods.
- Nuts – Many nuts contain calcium and phosphorus, minerals that help keep teeth strong. They can even help rebuild enamel that has been weakened by acidic substances. Chewing nuts also spurs the production of saliva, which also helps fight cavities. They’re a great alternative to chips, which contain starches that turn into sugar.
- Cheese and Other Dairy Products – These products are high in calcium and contain phosphorus and casein, all of which help strengthen tooth enamel. In addition, they help neutralize the acid produced by bacteria in your children’s mouths.
Watch What Your Child Is Drinking
You likely know soda is bad for your children’s teeth and limit your children’s consumption. That’s smart, since sodas contain lots of sugar as well as acids that eat away at tooth enamel. Even sugar-free diet sodas are high in acid.
However, you also need to be careful of drinks that may seem healthier yet are filled with sugar. Lemonade, while refreshing, has lots of acid and sugar too. Read the labels of sports drinks and juice drinks, and you may be surprised at the amount of sugar they contain. Your best choices for drinks are water and lowfat milk.
To make appointments for your children, or for other family members, call Appalachian Dental Care at 828-355-5673.