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Ask any kid what their favourite month of the year and the answer is almost always summer months. For them, summer means being out of school, evening barbecue, swimming and playing with friends and camping weekend. And while summer can be a great time for your kids, it can also pose challenges to parents, especially when it comes to keeping their dental health. The tempting sweets, physical activity and the too-lenient rules can leave your child with dental problems you don’t want to happen.

At Mint Kids Dentistry by Dr. Soo Jun, we want every child to experience a fun summer. Below are some tips for parents on how to protect those precious smiles.

Buy a new toothbrush

Summer is the best time to get a new toothbrush. By the time summer approaches, your kid’s brushes are already due for replacement. The American Dental Association suggests replacing your toothbrush every three to four months. Let your child pick the color and style of their new brushes so they are more inclined to clean twice a day.

Bring them to the grocery. Kid’s toothbrushes comes in different themes, colors and styles. You can also buy a toy that matches the theme of your child’s brush to encourage your child to clean every day.

Limit summer treats

Candy soda, ice pops, cotton candy. Summer is not just about playing, it is also about food and treats. Unfortunately, these sugary snacks can cause a high number of dental cavities. It’s fine to have your kids have a few snacks, but you should limit these treats before bedtime. Look for sugar-free or low sugar snacks. Make your own ice pops made from pureed fruits rather than buying from the store. Always keep berries in the kitchen, as they are often as sweet as candy.

Make a routine

While your summer activities might be a bit lax than your typical school days, it is important that your kids follow some form of structure. Instead of making a strict schedule, write down a list of things that should be done before your child start his/her day outside. Combine tooth brushing with other simple tasks such as making their beds or cleaning their room. Before bedtime, institute a similar policy as part of a wind-down routine. In this way, brushing becomes a habit together with other tasks.

Schedule a dental checkup

Even if your child seem motivated in keeping up with dental hygiene while at home, you have to limit summer dental surprises by following a schedule for dental checkups. It is important to schedule a checkup before school commence – it is an easy time of the year to remember and it can serve as a reminder for kids to keep following a good personal dental hygiene.

It can be difficult to get your child to continue brushing and flossing even when the school is out. By making dental hygiene a habit, you won’t have to fear about any dental concerns this summer.