When summer rolls around, the request for treats increases. Of course, who can blame us? Gooey s’mores by the campfire, pop-up lemonade stands, and prevalent ice cream trucks all are signs of the season. However, these sweets, while tasty, aren’t especially great for your teeth. So, how can you and your children stay healthy while still enjoying a fun treat every once in a while? Today, our Polaris dentist and staff discuss ways in which you can treat yourself while preventing unwanted cavities.
Pack an oral hygiene travel bag
A small baggie full of toothbrushes, floss, and toothpaste doesn’t take up a lot of room. Keep it in your car for a quick brush and floss after a picnic full of treats, corn on the cob, and tasty sweets. When you have a go-to bag for oral health, you can be sure you and your family can brush away the sugar coating your teeth. Likewise, while corn on the cob is a sign of summer, it can also be embarrassing to walk around with ‘corn teeth.’ Floss or flossers are easy to use on the go and we are happy to show you proper flossing techniques at your next dental exam.
Stock up on water
Carry a refillable water bottle or stock your car with small bottles of water. Instead of getting into fruit drinks or lemonade, water is the healthier option and easy choice when on hand. Water keeps you hydrated during the hot days and helps rinse the sugar out of your mouth when you simply must have a special treat. Educate young children about the importance of staying hydrated and know that dehydration is also a problem for your oral health. Dehydration affects your organs and prevents the necessary amount of saliva you need to digest foods from breaking down food particles. The lack of saliva leads to food sticking to teeth and causes cavities.
Set an appointed snack time
As a family, set a time in the day when snacks are permissible. Our Polaris dentist recommends 2:30 or 3:00 in the afternoon. This trick works great on many levels for all ages of children. First, it prevents constant snacking so your mouth and saliva have time to breakdown and digest food. It also reduces the calorie intake of unhealthy foods so everyone is ready for a healthy dinner. A set time also means the craftier children aren’t running from neighbor to neighbor squandering popsicles and ice cream. Finally, it sets you up for a schedule that is easy to prepare for and control. Stock your fridge with healthy pre-cut fruits and vegetables and your pantry with whole-grain snacks and you’ll avoid the constant pestering for unhealthy treats.
If you have healthy summer snack ideas, we’d love to hear about them on our Polaris dentist Facebook page. As a family, agree upon times when sweets are okay and when healthy choices are better. Proper hydration and good oral care are easy despite the tempting sugary options that emerge from time to time. Work as a team to keep your body and mouth healthy so you can enjoy what summer has to offer without risking your health.