Summer is right around the corner! As the school year ends, daily routines may be interrupted by vacations, summer camps and varying schedules. Here are some tips and tricks to create a dental action plan and schedule for the summer.
Inspire Your Child
Every child is different. That is why it is important to invest in their interests, particularly while trying to establish a healthy habit. Dental products have various themes such as sports, cartoons, superheroes and movie characters. Paired with the goodies from Easter, these “treats” will inspire your child to brush!
Another way to inspire good, dental hygiene this summer is incentive. Working parents are faced with a challenge when they are already at work by the time their child wakes up. A DYI dental chart is a fun way to incorporate your child’s interests and ensure they are brushing daily. Rewards for a full chart may include a trip to the local pool, small prizes from the dollar store, staying up late an extra hour at night and a play-date with their best friend. Make sure their sitter (especially grandparents who like to spoil your kids) are onboard with checking their dental chart.
Lastly, make brushing a part of their “summer job.” If your child loves to have “big kid” responsibilities, make brushing daily one of them! By empowering your child with “big kid” status, you inspire trust and commitment as they “work” at their daily tasks.
Pack Your Bags
Vacations present challenges for parents who are trying to establish dental routines with their children. Late arrivals at hotels, mad rushes to the airport, extended car trips, outdoor camping and a “sit back and relax attitude” all have the potential to interrupt your child’s daily dental routine. Have no fear! You can still enjoy your vacation as you keep your child brushing every day. All it takes is a little planning.
Now is the time to stock up on emergency toothbrushes and toothpaste. Forgotten toothbrushes are sometimes the biggest challenge, particularly after a long day of travel. By pre-packing a dental emergency bag in advance, you prevent simple mishaps during your trip. If your child has sensitivity to certain dental products, try to find travel-size versions of their preferred toothpaste and mouth wash. If you have no luck in finding them, buy small travel containers to store their products in.
Create a list of emergency contact numbers, including our number. If a dental emergency occurs, give us a call.
Camping and Caring
Outdoor adventures can be amazing and fun! But, dental hygiene should not fall away. Most campsites have community restrooms, however if your family is unable to reach them, make sure to have a plan in place. After locating a good water source (bottled water will do), make sure your child rinses their mouth out after every meal to remove food particles that cause bacteria growth. Brushing with a dry toothbrush is also effective as it dislodges food particles. While brushing in the wilderness, pack extra plastic bags to throw away floss, tissues and the remains of your mouth rinse and toothpaste (store these bags, along with other trash away from your campsite to prevent visiting animals). This will also teach your children to respect nature as they practice great dental hygiene!
Make this summer the best ever with a healthy smile! Wherever this season takes you, just know that we are a phone call or an email away to answer your pediatric dental questions. We can’t wait to hear about all of the family adventures at your next visit!