With spring in the air, it won’t be long before parents need to start preparing for their kids’ summer break from school. While the summer offers kids a chance at adventure, it can also present parents with a challenge as they attempt to keep their kids occupied and cared for. Even though pediatric dental care may not rank at the top of your summer to-do list, it’s important that kids consistently stick with a dental care routine throughout the year to promote healthy habits.
This means that even during a family vacation, you need to make sure your kids keep brushing and flossing. In fact, there are a few more tips to keep in mind when on vacation and when traveling. Here’s what to keep in mind as you prepare for the summer heat and keeping your kids’ smiles looking their best.
Pack with a Purpose
On vacations, day trips, and overnight stays at grandma’s, make sure to keep a toothbrush, floss, and toothpaste handy. If you keep these types of items in an easy to access place, such as an overnight bag or suitcase pocket, they’ll be easier to find when it’s time to brush and floss. Things can get pretty hectic when traveling with kids, so don’t assume you’ll have a chance to fully unpack in order find these essentials.
Also, make sure you bring enough for the entire family to use throughout the trip. In case your kids prefer a child’s or flavored brand of toothpaste, make sure to pack that and your brand as well.
Be Prepared for a Dental Emergency
While no parent likes to envision a scenario where their kids hurt themselves, it’s also better to be prepared for these unfortunate situations should they ever occur. For this reason, you should also travel with a kit to use in case of a dental emergency. Items to add to your kit should include, gauze, a small container with a tight fitting lid, an over-the-counter pain reliever that’s safe for kids, and a clean washcloth. These items will all come in handy should a child lose a tooth during the trip or some other type of dental emergency should occur.
Understand Your Options
Should a dental emergency occur that requires immediate attention, you need to know your options. Consider checking with insurance provider in advance of your trip to know who you can contact for care when out of town before taking your child to the emergency room for treatment. Some insurance plans will cover more when taken to a preferred provider than when treatment is administered in emergency care.
Teach Pool Safety in Advance
Most kids love to swim, so make sure they understand in advance how to be safe when at the pool. Slick tile, pool-side chairs, and other kids can all present obstacles that increase the risk of an accident occurring while at the pool that could result in oral trauma. Make sure your kids know not to run, where they can dive, and how you expect them to behave prior to arriving at the pool when the water can become a real distraction to keeping their attention.
Don’t Slack on the Snacks.
Even though summer has a more festive atmosphere than the school year, parents should still make sure their kids continue eating only healthy snacks. Carrot sticks and celery with peanut butter still make excellent snacking options during the summer because they contain very little sugar, which is the primary cause of tooth decay in kids. The same goes for sports drinks and sodas, both of which contain an excessive amount of added sugar that could negatively impact your kids’ oral health. While not the most exciting option, fresh fruits, vegetables, and plenty of water still remain snacking all-stars.
Practice Makes Perfect
Most kids need to stay in a routine in order to maintain their oral hygiene. If kids are allowed to skimp on brushing while on vacation or only need to brush once when staying with a relative, it makes it far more difficult to impose correct dental hygiene habits throughout the rest of the year. To ensure your kids stay on the right dental track, you need to have them consistently repeat their best oral hygiene routine every day, regardless of at home or away.
Pediatric Dental Care You Can Count On
If you have any about the best practices for keeping your kids smiling their best now and into the future, feel free to ask any member of our team during your next appointment at Must Love Kids Pediatric Dentistry. Drs. Mo and G will be happy to provide you with any and all information you need to keep your kids on the road to better oral health.