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Dr. Cynthia Pelley
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Little Smiles Pediatric Dentistry
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8708 SE 17th Ave, Portland, OR 97202
(503) 235-0313
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Tips for Proper Oral Health During the Busy Summer Months

Posted on 6/5/2015 by Cynthia Pelley
A woman that is about to chew a piece of sugarless gum.Summer is supposed to be a time to slow down, unwind, and enjoy the weather, but many parents find themselves just as busy as they were during the school year. While we do not want to interrupt your fun or put a damper on it, we want to make sure that you are taking proper care of your child's oral health despite the crazy schedules and numerous amounts of fun that everyone is having. Here are a few ways to keep oral health in good condition even while on the go.

Carry Healthy Food and Drinks
While you are out and about, it is so easy to grab prepackaged food, drive-thru snacks, and sugar drinks, but these items wreak havoc on your child's oral health. Instead, before you leave the house pack a cooler with healthy food and drinks. With plenty of fruits, crunchy vegetables, and cold water available wherever you are, there is no reason to reach for those candy bars, sodas, or carbohydrate filled snacks. The more prepared you are, the healthier your child's teeth will remain throughout your fun filled summer months.

Carry Straws
There are undoubtedly going to be times that your child wants a sugary drink or treat, whether it is because "everyone else is" or just because he is a kid and wants to enjoy certain treats. As long as these times are seldom and treated as a "big treat" you can indulge your child. One of the best ways to ensure that his dental health is not at risk during these times is to have straws with you. If he is going to consume soda, a slushy drink, or other sugar filled drink, have him drink it with a straw to minimize the amount of sugar that bathes his teeth and then sits there until you can get home to properly brush and floss.

Carry Travel Oral Hygiene Tools

Caring for your child's teeth on-the-go is a lot easier than it sounds. Carry a little travel toothbrush and toothpaste in your purse. When the opportunity to brush his teeth presents itself, encourage your child to do it. This enables you to be out and about and still have good oral hygiene. If you cannot get him to brush his teeth or simply do not have the time, at the very least, have him rinse with ADA approved mouthwash (if you have the opportunity) or with regular water, just to give your mouth the added benefit of being able to eliminate the food debris and bacteria that are lying on the teeth, eating away at his enamel.

Chew Sugarless Gum
If your child is old enough to chew gum safely, carry sugarless gum sweetened with Xylitol and approved by the ADA. Studies have shown that chewing the right gum after eating helps to stimulate the production of saliva, which helps to wash away the debris in the mouth. It may also help to cut down on the amount of bacteria in your child's mouth. This, of course, is only safe if your child is old enough to chew gum and not swallow or choke on it.

Taking these few simple steps can help your child's mouth to stay healthy this summer while still having the time of his life. As long as you show that oral hygiene is a priority in your life, your child will mimic what you do, taking the care of his teeth very seriously as a child and well into his adulthood.

If your child is due for a checkup or you are concerned about the health of his teeth, please call us for an appointment today.

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Little Smiles Pediatric Dentistry - Cynthia Pelley | | (503) 235-0313
8708 SE 17th Avenue, Portland, OR 97202