If there is any time of year children love the most, it’s the summer. No more school, fun times in the sun with your friends, and everywhere you look, you see yet another delicious summertime snack. From ice cream to fun county fair foods, summertime has the tastiest treats and there is nothing your child wants more. It’s three months of the year that tests a parent’s patience. Junk food is running rampant and your child’s teeth are unfortunately going to end up becoming the victims. So, how does a parent keep an eye on the oral health of their little human during this sweetest of seasons? Having a couple of guidelines will surely help out.
First thing first: drink water. We know that children hate water when compared to other choices, but it is the most important drink they can have during the season’s summer heat. To be honest, even adults have a tough time drinking enough. But kids will ask for soda or juice any chance they get. Do your best to keep it to a minimum, these drinks wreak havoc on a mouth. If you feel like caving in, do it during a meal so they have to finish it in one sitting. If they can’t carry it around with them, bacteria that feed off the sugars won’t have time to cling onto their teeth long enough to cause cavities. Chewing your food also produces saliva, your mouth’s natural fighter against cavity-causing bacteria, so meals are a great time to indulge in a sweet treat. Flavor up the water by adding different fresh fruit combinations. Not only will the fruit slices make the water taste better for your little one, but it may also get everyone into the habit of drinking it more often.
When it comes to snacking, keep the same rule of thumb in mind. No one needs an entire bag of candy they can munch on all day, so opt for a singular snack they have to eat at once, like a candy bar or a popsicle. When it comes to snacks, there are plenty of options that will not only taste yummy to tiny taste buds but can also help fight against cavity-causing bacteria. The act of chewing automatically produces saliva production, so keeping snacks handy is a great idea to divert your child’s attention from sweets. Handy snacks like popcorn with a little bit of butter or pretzels with some mustard are great options when you just want to have something to nosh on. Fruits and veggies, like pears and celery, not only have a high water content but also help to keep a mouth healthy. Protein is also excellent at getting rid of some of the acids in your mouth so pack plenty of turkey sandwiches, cheese & nuts.
When you think about your diet, keeping yourself healthy all comes down to balance. You don’t want to deprive yourself (or your family) of the various delights only this season can offer. Conversely, you also don’t want to deal with a ton of dental bills once school starts, so make sure you are trading a few more healthy options into your family’s summer snack wheel. Because, even though we hate to admit it, you CAN have too much of a good thing. Take the time and read the labels. Make sure what you’re giving your child isn’t the world’s worst option. Use some moderation. Remember: Summertime is the hottest time of year so keeping your body hydrated is of the utmost importance. Sugars deprive your body of its necessary hydration. The more you dehydrate, the easier things can go wrong internally. So keep those sugary treats to a minimum and keep a steady flow of water in everybody. Enjoy the summer!
If you need to get your chipped or cracked tooth repaired, contact Tory Hill Dental at 207-929-6626 to schedule an appointment today. Or visit toryhilldental.com for additional information.