Summer is in full swing, which means your kids are probably smack in the middle of enjoying not having a set routine or classes to attend. Unfortunately, that can also sometimes mean that they don’t have a routine at all. And that’s when their oral hygiene can start to suffer.
If you want your kids to maintain their good oral hygiene habits this summer, here are a few tips to help you out.
Bring the Routine Back
While nobody needs the rigorous school routine thrust upon them during the summer months, having some semblance of a routine while your kids are out of school is an incredibly helpful strategy to keep good oral hygiene habits in place. When you consider that more than 40% of kids have dental cavities by the time they reach kindergarten, impressing the importance of an oral hygiene routine becomes that much more essential. So before you let your kids run wild, set up a loose routine or set of guidelines that helps them organize their day and remember to take care of their teeth. Even a simple household rule for everyone of having their teeth brushed by 10:00 AM can work wonders. Remember that it’s recommended to brush your teeth twice daily — once in the morning and once in the evening before going to sleep. Establishing a loose bedtime routine can also be helpful here.
Make It Interactive
While brushing your teeth is pretty inherently an interactive task, it’s not always the most exciting or rewarding. But when almost 91% of Americans between the ages of 20 and 64 have at least one cavity, making toothbrushing exciting is a very good project to take on. So while you’re making your daily routine, consider adding in a little something special for your kids each time they’ve finished brushing their teeth. A few ways to make this happen include:
- Keeping a dry-erase checklist for your kids to fill out.
- Collecting “tooth tokens” and exchanging them for prizes.
- Play two minutes of their favorite song to dance to while they brush.
Simple changes can help you make toothbrush time much more entertaining and rewarding for your kids. These tips can work wonders for younger kids, especially.
Invest in New Gear
Odds are your kids are probably due for a new toothbrush by the time summer vacation rolls around. Fortunately, it’s a fun, easy task to take your kids out and help them all pick out new toothbrushes. Not only does this ensure their teeth are getting cleaned the way they need to be, but it also makes brushing their teeth a more fun experience. Who doesn’t love playing with a new toy? New toothbrushes can feel the same way for your kids. And if they’re really struggling with a manual toothbrush, it could be time to consider switching to electric toothbrushes for all.
Help Your Kids with Braces
If one of your kids is still pretty fresh out of the orthodontist’s office with braces, brushing might seem like even more of a chore. But the average time someone wears braces is about two years, which means they’ll have to master the art of cleaning them eventually. And the more you can help them with this, the better. A good first step is to invest in an electric toothbrush to help them better clean their brackets and teeth at the same time. In addition, make time to floss with them a few times a week. Flossing with braces can be tough, especially when you have to do it alone. Sometimes some company doing the same thing can make it feel like less of a chore.
A healthy mouth is so important, so don’t let your kids slack on oral hygiene habits this summer! With these tips, the whole family will be smiling bright.