The summer holidays are nearly upon us! Quality time with the kids can be great, but the summer school holidays can be a little stressful. With the normal school routine interrupted, it can be challenging to maintain good habits like getting your kids to brush their teeth on time and sticking to healthy meals and snacks.
If you need some tips on how to keep your child’s teeth healthy this summer, we’ve got some useful tips and tricks for you below.
Fizzy drinks are one of the biggest culprits for damaging children’s teeth. Did you know that a single can of Coca-Cola contains 35 grams of sugar, an astonishing 10 grams over the recommended daily allowance for children?
Familiarise yourself with the recommended daily sugar intake for kids, and make sure you check the packaging before purchasing fizzy drinks for your kids. Certain fruit juices are also known for containing unhealthy quantities of sugar, so be sure to check these too. You can look at the fruit juices containing the highest sugar levels on Livestrong’s blog right here.
Adult sugar RDA: 30g
Children aged 7-10 sugar RDA: 24g
Children aged 4-6 sugar RDA: 19g
If you can encourage your child to drink plenty of water, even better. A good strategy is to strike a compromise with your child. For example, you could let them know they’re only allowed a fizzy drink or fruit juice if they’ve had at least litre of water that day too. When they reach their 1 litre water target, positive reinforcement can work wonders to inspire them to carry on with this habit. If you’re a parent or guardian reading this, we’re sure you will be all too familiar with this tactic!
As we mentioned in the intro, not having set routines during the school holidays can be problematic when it comes to getting kids to brush their teeth. Sleepovers with friends and later bedtimes and getting up times can cause brushing to fall down the priorities list.
However, multiple missed brushing sessions can bring about severe problems for your child’s oral health, especially if they have been eating a sugar-heavy diet.
Tooth decay is the biggest reason children between 5-9 are admitted to hospital in the U.K. The risk of your child ending up in hospital to be treated for tooth decay significantly increases when they are not brushing twice a day and regularly exceeding the RDA of sugar.
With this in mind, try to set specific brushing times each day and reward your child for sticking to these each week.
It might feel tough to be bad cop when your child wants to snack regularly during the holidays. However, they will be grateful to you when they grow older, as moderating snacking can help to keep decay and gum disease at bay. Ideally, (like adults), kids should be eating at meal times and enjoying one or two healthy snacks throughout the day.
The more often your child eats and drinks (with the exception of water), the pH level in their mouth changes. Regularly eating high-sugar foods is particularly difficult for your child’s mouth to deal with, as the bacteria within them use the sugar for fuel. As a result, acid is created as a waste product, lowering the pH level in their mouths to an amount that can erode their tooth enamel.
Unfortunately, once tooth enamel is jeopardised, it’s unable to repair itself (this is true of milk teeth and adult teeth), so prevention is incredibly important. In the worst-case scenario, your child may need to have their tooth extracted if we notice a severe degree of erosion and decay.
A holiday gift is always going to go down well with children. There are now many tooth-related gifts for kids that you can purchase, designed to encourage them to find the fun in looking after their teeth. Even a fun-looking toothbrush can be enough to make brushing that little bit more exciting. Oral-B stocks children’s toothbrushes in many different styles, ranging from Winnie the Pooh and Star Wars designs to Spiderman and Disney.
There are also a number of apps kids can use while they brush, including:
Brush DJ: Allows you to set brushing reminders for your child and shuffles music from your phone – create a custom brushing playlist for your child so they forget they’re even brushing their teeth.
Check out Brush DJ here.
Disney Magic Timer: Downloadable from your Google Play store, Disney Magic Timer generates hidden Disney and Marvel characters onto the screen for kids to look out for as they brush. Longer brushing rewards kids with prizes for a magic album and badges for each milestone they achieve.
Check out Magic Timer here.
Using apps such as these will help your child stick to the recommended 2 minutes of brushing twice a day, which should be happening before breakfast and last thing at night, after their evening meal.
The school holidays are a great time to get your child’s teeth checked over, as it can be an ideal time to turn over a new leaf with their oral health, coinciding with the new school term.
During your child’s appointment, we can also support you as a parent. If you’ve been struggling with trying to get your child to brush for the right amount of time, or to help them understand the importance of healthy eating, we can give you some valuable tips and tricks to make this easier.
If you live in Canary Wharf and you’re looking for children’s dentist appointments, we’re very happy to accept new young patients. Your child’s dentist appointments are an essential building block in creating a healthy future for them. We love working with kids to help them develop the independence they need to maintain healthy teeth and gums as they move toward adulthood.
Contact our friendly reception team to book your child in to see a dentist in Canary Wharf today.
“Very good customer service with friendly and approachable staff at reception. The best dental clinic in London with professional dentists, giving you thorough examinations and…”
“Lovely practice. Irina is personable, caring and great at her job. The reception team are always so welcoming too. Highly recommend!”
“Great staff and amazing service they provide for their customers. My first visit to Dr Jafri was a great experience. He immediately puts you at…”
“Had a very satisfying service! Timings were perfect and they had a clean atmosphere. They did a detailed check and made sure I came out…”
“I had an issue with a cracked tooth which has been resolved quickly by the friendly staff at InnovaDent who booked me in on the…”