Maintaining Kids Oral Health During The Summer Holidays

When routines get broken, children’s teeth can suffer. Make sure your children’s teeth and gums stay healthy this holiday

Dentist educating a child about oral healthIt’s the time of the year that many children look forward to and some parents probably don’t. The long summer school break is now upon us and, as parents, we have to use our imaginations to keep our young children entertained and shuffle our  work responsibilities as best as we can.

One thing that often happens during this time is that our routines change. The kids don’t have to get up early for school and we no longer get the time away from them either. One consequence of this is that their daily oral care routine will change too, and even more problematicly, may get missed altogether if we take our eye off the ball.

In today’s blog, we are going to take a look at what our Bedford patients can do to help ensure that their kids’ teeth stay healthy during this time, both during the run of the mill days and also some additional tips for those who are taking a holiday abroad at this time of the year.

General oral care routine

While the kids may not need to jump out of bed and brush their teeth before getting ready to go to school, it is important that you do establish a routine during the time they are off school. This needn’t be done at the same time as school days and some children might lie in for longer. It doesn’t matter too much if they brush their teeth in the morning an hour or so later, as long as they brush them. However, try to establish a pattern as soon as you can and stick to it as rigidly as is practically possible.

The same applies in the evening before bedtime. The chances are that after running around all day with their friends, or if you have taken them out for the day somewhere, they may be pretty tired by bedtime. No matter how tired they are, make sure that they brush their teeth well. A quick ten second brushing will do little good and you should even supervise the full two minutes if you feel that they may not do this correctly.

Being at home, the chances are that your kids will consume a lot more sugary foods. As we know, sugar is very harmful for their teeth and whilst a good brushing routine will help with this, it is still a good idea to monitor their sugar intake and encourage them to eat more tooth friendly snacks. No child will want to have their holidays interrupted by a trip to The Dental Centre Bedford to have a filling or extraction due to a painful toothache, so be sure to try to avoid this by limiting sugar and making sure they stick to a good holiday time teeth cleaning regime.

Holidays abroad

It is likely that quite a few of our patients will head abroad to warmer climes for their holidays (which, in general, wouldn’t be hard given the UK weather this year!)  Naturally, we hope that you and your family have a great time if you do, but please remember that the potentially harmful bacteria in your mouth will travel with you and won’t take a holiday, so good oral health care is essential even during your summer break.

Make sure to pack toothbrushes for the whole family and especially any appropriate toothpaste for the kids. Depending on where you are going, you may not find it as easy to find their usual brand abroad and they may not appreciate the change in taste of the available toothpaste. This may seem a little thing but it can discourage kids from cleaning their teeth.

Again, monitor their sugar intake, whilst of course, allowing them a little more leeway as they are on holiday. There is no need to be too strict but still encourage them to eat sensibly. If you do this and ensure a good teeth cleaning regime, there is every chance that they will have a trouble free holiday as far as their teeth go.

There is always a small chance of toothache or a broken tooth while you are away, however diligent you are about oral health care. Although it might be unlikely, it is worth checking your insurance to make sure that you are covered for any dental or medical treatment that you or your children may need abroad.  Depending on the nature of any dental problem; if it occurs towards the end of your holiday you might prefer to wait until you are home to see your convenient Bedford dentist.  If you decide to do this, we advise that you contact us when the problem occurs rather than waiting until you get home. That way, your child is likely to be seen sooner.

Although it is good advice at any time, most of you will have seen the news of the extreme heat abroad this year. You should always make sure to stay well hydrated at any time but especially in hotter weather where we lose fluids more rapidly. Take sensible precautions to avoid too much exposure to the heat and make sure that you have a ready supply of water with you at all times. This is a sensible precaution to help you stay healthy on your holiday but will also help you to avoid the dry mouth often associated with harmful gum disease.

Finally, if you discover that your holidays clash with a previously booked check up at our practice, please make sure that you cancel this and re-arrange. Doing so enables another patient to take your appointment but also ensures that you don’t simply forget about it and miss your regular check up. Missing an appointment means that you will have longer between check ups and allow additional time for cavities and other problems to become worse.

To make, cancel or re-arrange an appointment with us, please call The Dental Centre Bedford on 01234 819868.