23 Jul 7 Tooth Friendly Tips To Lower Your Risk Of A Dental Emergency These School Holidays
School holidays have well and truly begun! The kids are getting a well-deserved break after a long term… and parents are both stressed and excited about spending two full weeks occupying entertaining them. Whether this might involve taking a vacation or staying put and enjoying time around the house, we’ve come up with some tips to help maintain your kid’s oral health over the holidays!
1. The travelling tooth kit
Have you planned an adventure with the young ones? Don’t forget oral hygiene habits! We know everyone gets excited packing for a trip away – but it’s important to pack the essentials for you and your child’s teeth as well. Tick off the usual toothbrush, toothpaste and floss at the very least! And to make sure you all have a lovely, white smile in the destination selfies – it might be worth considering a few spare toothbrushes, mouthwash, and some sugar-free gum.
2. Cut down on sugar
When you consume food and drinks, a lot goes on in your mouth to break it down while maintaining a healthy and balanced oral environment. Bacteria living in plaque on your teeth feasts on the sugars we eat and produces acid that can wear down the surface of your teeth over time. This is the process known as tooth decay. People of all ages are affected by tooth decay, but children’s teeth are especially vulnerable to this as their enamel layer is thinner and weaker. This can lead to cavities forming if they consume too much sugar in food and drinks and aren’t brushing their teeth regularly or adequately enough.
It’s impossible to avoid sugar altogether, but it’s a good idea to limit how much you and your family consume over the holidays. Sometimes we develop different eating habits when our routine is changed up, which is often the case during holiday periods – so it’s essential to keep an eye on both your own and your children’s sugar intake. This doesn’t just mean the obvious lollies and chocolate snacks, but also processed foods and dried fruits that are high in sugar and tend to stick to the teeth. And be wary of sugary beverages like soft drinks, fruit juices and sports drinks.
3. Water consumption
Keeping the kids hydrated will also help to reduce the chances of tooth decay. Drinking often, and plenty of water will help to loosen and clear bacteria, leftover food particles and plaque from their teeth and mouth. It’s also worth limiting those sugary drinks where you can, as they tend to have a lasting, negative effect on our oral health. Rinsing with water after drinking sugary beverages or foods that may have staining properties can help reduce staining to the teeth.
4. Keep up the fruit and vegies
Even though they are not usually a kid-favourite, fruit and vegetables are an essential part of everyone’s diets. Their high fibre content actually ‘scrubs’ the teeth similar to the way your toothbrush might (although we wouldn’t recommend trading your toothbrush for a stick of broccoli). They also aid in saliva production because of the extra chewing they require, which helps to balance out sugar intake and neutralises acid attacks in the mouth.
5. Wear a mouthguard when playing sports
Holidays usually mean more free time for kids to play outside – and sometimes that means more chances to get into a little bit of trouble. If your kids are playing contact sports or do any other activities that puts their jaw, mouth and teeth at risk of injury from impact or collision with other players, they should wear a mouthguard. Mouthguards play an important role in reducing the severity of injuries (particularly in sport) and may prevent teeth from being knocked out. Speak with your dentist about getting a mould fitted to suit your child’s needs.
6. Dealing with dental Trauma
It’s all fun and games until someone bangs up a tooth. Accidents happen, especially when we’re least expecting them! If the unexpected happens and your child damages their teeth, it’s important to act quickly. Always get in touch with your dentist as soon as possible.
7. Come in and visit us
The kids have got plenty of spare time – so why not visit the dentist!
Holidays are a great time to book your child (and yourself) in for a regular check-up. With no school hours to worry about there’s plenty of time in the day to schedule an appointment.