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Posted on 5/20/2015 by William Moore
Summer is almost here, which means plenty of time to be outside and having fun! That is great news for kids everywhere and probably most parents too. The problem is that there are many dangers for your children.
Many parents forget about these dangers while getting caught up in the excitement of summer. Instead of just letting loose and having fun - think of these 3 threats to your child's teeth and help him to minimize those threats because like most parents, once you know your child is safe, then you can relax and have fun!
We are all guilty of having sugary treats all summer long. Popsicles, ice cream, candy, sugary fruits, and sweet drinks are just a few of the exciting things about summer. While these items are okay in moderation and actually highly encouraged just to "let kids be kids," moderation is the key word here. If you let your kids go nuts with the non-nutritious foods, drinking Kool-Aid rather than water and consuming sports drinks rather than water during sporting events, you are putting their oral health at risk. Instead, have special times for special treats and keep the other times for nutritious choices.
Remember that water is crucial not only for hydration, but to clean the bacteria off of your child's teeth, so plenty of water all summer long is a much better choice than juice or sports drinks. Ice cream and popsicles are fun treats, but they should be just that - treats. On the other occasions, encourage the consumption of fruit, vegetables, and low-fat dairy. Instead of popsicles, encourage the consumption of yogurt pops or frozen grapes. Both of these items provide that sweet, cold treat they desire without the risk to their oral health.
Summer is such a fun time to be outside and be crazy, but think about the dangers that your child will face. Parks are fun, but can wreak havoc on your child's dental health if you are not careful. The same is true for bikes, scooters, roller blades, and even just running! One trip on the cement sidewalk and there goes his front teeth.
While you don't want to be that helicopter parent that is all over your child, you can encourage him to be careful - run only when it is appropriate and avoid it when it is not - such as at the pool where it is slippery! Make it a rule in your house that if your child is wearing flip flops, that he is not to run. And if he is riding his bike, roller blades, or scooter, a helmet must be worn at all times. If you have an extra clumsy child, it is also not a bad idea to have him wear a mouth guard as an extra precaution.
Soda is not a drink that should be in any child's diet, but summer seems like a time that more and more consumption of this harmful drink is done. Rather than soda, again, encourage water or very diluted fruit juice. Soda not only adds more sugar to your child's mouth, but the acid in the drink also eats away at your child's enamel. In fact, did you know that the enamel erosion starts just 20 minutes after consuming a soda? Now think about the number of sodas your child drinks over a typical summer - that is a lot of enamel erosion which leads to tooth decay! Remember, water is the key to hydration and proper oral health!
It is not easy being a parent today, but being in charge of their wellbeing and oral health is a constant need for you and your child. You do not have to be the "mean" parent this summer, it is perfectly acceptable to allow him to indulge once in a while, just make sure they are treats and the rest of the time is filled with nutritious foods and proper oral hygiene!
Is it time for you child's pediatric dental checkup? Call us today at (503) 438-7145.