Schools out and holiday fun is in. But with festive food and sweet summer treats posing a potential obstacle to your child’s oral health, it’s a good idea to be prepared with tooth-friendly tips that will keep kids’ teeth in the best condition.
To help you support your children in maintaining good oral health over the holiday period, we’ve put together some simple summer tips for happy and healthy holiday teeth.
Tip 1: Book in your child for a check-up
With the school holidays in full swing, now is an ideal time to book your child in for a dental check-up before they go back to school for Term 1. Plus, without the constraints of school hours, you can be more flexible with appointment times.
A dental check-up and clean will help to identify oral health issues which may require further treatment, as well as giving you a chance to discuss any dental concerns with your child’s dentist.
To book your child in for a dental check-up at your local National Dental Care Group practice, make an appointment online today.
Tip 2: Go beyond sweet treats for Christmas gifts
Whether it’s a chocolate-filled advent calendar or lollies in the Christmas stocking, sweet treats are often a standard go-to when it comes to festive gifts. However, as sugar-laden foods can cause significant damage to children’s teeth, coming up with alternative present ideas can help keep their oral health in the best condition.
Consider swapping the sweets for small toys, stickers, or books. By avoiding the extra sugar hit in their Christmas presents, you can help your child stay healthy and minimise their intake of sugary foods this holiday period.
Tip 3: Have healthy snacks to hand
Whether you’re at home or on vacation over the summer holidays, hungry children in search of snacks are likely to be a feature wherever you end up! By having healthy, teeth-friendly snacks readily available, you can avoid the kids reaching for sweet, sugary foods or unhealthy treats.
Be prepared with healthy alternatives, such as fruit like chopped apples or berries, vegetable sticks paired with healthy dips such as hummus, or wholegrain cereals that are low in sugar. Stocking up on these healthier snacks in advance can mean you’ll always have a tooth-friendly option when rumbling tummies strike.
Tip 4: Cut back on fizzy drinks
Fizzy drinks can be packed with sugar, which can cause bacteria to build up and result in the development of cavities and tooth decay. What’s more, many soft drinks are high in acid, which can weaken tooth enamel and leave teeth exposed to disease and sensitivity.
Encouraging children to drink water instead of fizzy drinks is a great way to keep them hydrated as well as avoid the damaging effects of sugar and acid. However, if your child has fizzy drinks from time to time, aim to have a straw available to minimise the impact on teeth.
Tip 5: Make it easy (and fun!) to maintain good oral hygiene
With the disruption of the school holidays causing normal routines to go out the window, you may find it harder to keep your kids on track with their usual oral hygiene practices. However, it’s important to maintain twice-daily brushing and daily flossing to avoid oral health issues creeping in over the holidays.
If you have younger children, aim to make toothbrushing time exciting and fun so they’ll be more likely to stick with their routine. For example, choose a colourful toothbrush that engages their senses and opt for characters or themes that they like.
Tip 6: Help kids make healthy food choices
Teaching children about healthy eating from a young age is a great way to help them make the right food choices as they get older. By getting kids involved in activities such as grocery shopping, food preparation, and cooking, you can show them which foods provide the most nutritional value and are healthy for their teeth.
Equipping children with a basic knowledge of healthy foods and drinks can also help them make healthier choices when you’re not with them, such as when they visit other children’s houses or go to friends’ parties over the holiday period.
If you need to book your child in for a dental check-up before they go back to school for Term 1 next year, get in touch with your local National Dental Care Group practice and ensure you and your family are all set for a healthy summer holiday.