The school summer holidays are one of the most exciting times of the year for kids. However, for parents and guardians, they can be a tad stressful. Lack of routine and structure can make it incredibly difficult to keep tabs on what your child is up to. We understand how challenging it can be to get your child to eat sensibly and brush their teeth twice a day and for the right amount of time, especially when you throw sleepovers at friends’ houses into the mix.
To help you navigate through the school summer holidays, we’ve put together this handy guide for parents and guardians. Read useful tips on how to make sure your child’s teeth don’t fall foul to problems like decay and unpleasant symptoms such as sensitivity and toothache.
Tip 1: Schedule set times for brushing
We all know that kids benefit greatly from having a routine as they grow up. However, when this grinds to a very sudden holt during the 6-week school holidays, all the good habits that go with having a routine can dwindle.
Before the school holidays begin, create a schedule with your child to encourage them to stick to the brushing times you set with them. Rewarding them each week with a small treat will help to keep their motivation solid, even during the times they’re away at a friend’s house for the night.
Tip 2: Wholesome hydration
With so much information out there about which foods are bad for our kids, it’s easy to select those that are most nutritious. However, the knowledge surrounding sugar content in drinks, particularly fruit juices, isn’t as prevalent.
Fizzy drinks and certain fruit juices are laden with calories and harmful ingredients that destroy your child’s tooth enamel gradually over time. With a weakened defence layer coating their teeth, problems like decay and the need for fillings will undoubtedly follow.
To give you some context, take a look at some of the popular drinks we see on our shelves and the sugar they contain:
Children should have no more than 6 teaspoons of sugar each day (the equivalent of a small chocolate bar).
*Based on a small can or bottle
Coca-Cola: 10 teaspoons
Pepsi: 8.75 teaspoons
Red bull: 6.9 teaspoons
Sprite: 8.25 teaspoons
Orange juice (from concentrate): Up to 10 teaspoons
Grape juice: up to 15 teaspoons
Tip 3: Bring them in for an orthodontics consultation
It can be challenging to find the time to bring your child in for an orthodontics consultation during term time.
If you’ve noticed your child’s teeth are protruding or poorly aligned, we strongly recommend bringing them along for a teeth straightening appointment for children, to discuss orthodontics here in Northampton. Some of the things we will look for when assessing your child’s teeth include:
– An uneven bite.
– Baby teeth that are still in place, despite adult teeth having begun to emerge.
– Wide gaps in your teeth.
– Tooth wear that’s come about due to an uneven bite.
The summer holidays are a great time to get them started with teeth straightening treatment, allowing them to get acclimatised to wearing a brace before they go back to school.
Read all about booking your child in to see an orthodontist in Northampton here at Cliftonville Dental.
Tip 4: Protect your child’s teeth on the playing field
Over 50% of children will be affected by a tooth-related injury as they grow up. Fortunately, this risk of this happening can be minimised by investing in a custom-made sports mouth guard.
If your child enjoys sports like football, cricket, squash or rounders, we can create a mouth guard that offers an excellent level of protection, should they sustain trauma to the mouth area.
Not only can it be extremely traumatic for your child to damage their tooth accidentally or to knock it out completely, but it’s also a setback for their oral health.
Read more about protective mouth guards for sport at our private dentist in Northampton here.
Tip 5: Make the most of the seasonal fruit available
When we think of summer, one of the first things that come to mind is the beautiful array of seasonal fruits that line the supermarket shelves.
Kids follow the good examples set by their parents or guardians. Make sure you’re eating plenty of fruit in front of them, to show them that it’s the norm. Fruits like berries contain a chemical called polyphenols, which help prevent bad bacteria from tenaciously clinging to their teeth and gums. Vitamin C levels in berries are also high, which helps fight inflammation.
Watermelon is another go-to, which your child can enjoy as part of their lunch or dinner, with Parma ham or cheese. Watermelon is 92% water, helping to wash away food particles in your child’s mouth and contains Vitamin A, a key component for promoting hardy tooth enamel.
Tip 6: Have snacks ready for when you’re on the go
We understand how hard it can be when it comes to finding healthy snacks for your child when you’re on the move, particularly in petrol stations and newsagents.
If you know you’re going to be out for the day, cut up some veg like carrots and cucumber, which your child can enjoy as a healthy snack. This is also much cheaper than purchasing snacks on the go. Dips like houmous and guacamole can help to entice your child to eat their veggies.
Contact our private dentist in Northampton
We love working with children to help nurture a healthy, long-term affinity for caring for their teeth.
If you would like to know more about how we approach caring for the smiles of our younger patients, all the information you need is just one click away.