Clinician’s Corner: Keep kids smiling all summer!

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June 8th, 2021

With another school year wrapping up, many school-aged kids are looking forward to a relaxing summer vacation filled with fun activities like swimming, bike riding, eating ice cream and other outdoor pastimes.

Clock and to-do list illustration

Usually, toothbrushing is a part of a child’s before-school routine. However, with some schools implementing remote learning this last year, some children have gotten out of the habit of brushing every day since they were not always physically “going” to school. Now that it’s summertime, even more kids might struggle with remembering to brush their teeth every day. This is where establishing a healthy routine can help! Routines help make good choices automatic.

A great example is brushing teeth twice every day for two minutes. Toothbrushing can be the bookends of a child’s day. The day should start with washing their face and brushing teeth. Do the same thing at the end of the day before going to bed.

How to help your child keep up good dental health habits:

  1. Set a good example. Younger kids like to copy adults, so show the children in your life how to take care of their teeth by brushing and flossing your own every day.
  2. Make it fun. There are many entertaining two-minute videos available online that can help keep a child engaged in brushing. To avoid screen time, play upbeat music that is reserved for toothbrushing or let the child choose the song.
  3. Give choices so that the child feels they have some control over their routine. For instance, allow the child to pick out their own toothbrush, or give them the choice like “brushing now or in five minutes” so that they feel they have power in the situation.

(Reminder: supervise children while brushing and provide a rice-grain size amount of toothpaste for children under 3 and a pea-size amount for children 3-6.)

Summer is also a great time to get caught up on preventive dental and medical visits. Remember we recommend that all children have regular dental care beginning by the first birthday and every 6 months moving forward.

Have a safe and healthy summer!

Additional resources:

This information in this post is for general educational purposes only and does not warrant or represent any information as related to health as specifically appropriate for you. It is not intended to be medical advice or replace the relationship that you have with your health care providers. You should always seek medical advice on any diagnosis or treatment from a qualified health care provider. The information is provided “as is” without any representations or warranties, express or implied.

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