Managing Summer Sweets

Q. We are approaching summer, the time of year when my kids have more opportunities to make unhealthy drink and snack choices. How do I maintain my child’s oral health around all these new opportunities to consume energy drinks, ice cream cones and snoballs?

A. Summer is a time for rest and relaxation. So, we always tell our patients to have fun with all the extras summer may present, but to do so in moderation.

Maintain a routine – While everyone is looking forward to sleeping later and being a little more lazy than usual, the best thing parents can do is continue to have a routine. Children may need to be reminded to brush and floss twice per day. It is helpful to get them to do it at the same time each day (preferred method to get routines started). Have them set an alarm on a mobile device for themselves or set one for yourself to ensure everyone gets their oral care in each day. Brushing and flossing alongside your kids will also ensure they are treating their teeth the same way they would during the school year!

Avoid sugary drinks as much as possible – While sports drinks do a good job as marketing themselves as healthy, in some cases, they have just as much or more sugar than sodas. Whether it’s soda or a sports drink, watch consumption volume. The sugars in these drinks can lead to a buildup on the teeth that causes decay. The general recommendation is one glass of juice that’s a maximum of 8 oz. for most school-age children. The only other recommended beverage is water. So, if your child had a glass of orange juice with breakfast, try not to give them any sports drinks or sodas throughout the day. If you are in a situation where sports drinks or sodas are the only option, try to limit to just one per day. The same is true for sugary snacks. For all sugary foods and drinks, we recommend taking a break throughout the day to allow time for saliva to bathe and clean the teeth.

Schedule your summer or back to school visit now – Our office gets very busy during the summer, and we know your schedule may be the same. It’s important to see the dentist twice per year around the same times of year to ensure your child gets the dental care they need. Some schools require dental checkups, prior to beginning the next year’s grade, so this can be especially important. You can easily schedule an appointment on our website or call your office to find a time that’s convenient for you.

Pediatric Dental Associates of Alabama is led by top-rated pediatric dentists with locations in Birmingham, Cullman, Hoover, Medplex, Oxford and Pell City. When looking for your child’s dentist, know that we aspire to be the premier provider of pediatric dental services in Alabama. We also provide orthodontics in our Medplex-Hoover and Cullman locations. Beautiful smiles are our specialty!



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