While Seattle summer might take a little longer to show up, it’s still on the way! With school almost out, you’re planning your family’s summer schedule and getting your kids’ activities lined up. Make sure that keeping their smiles safe is one of your priorities! Serious playground injuries have been on the rise in the last decade, and that’s a place that can be very dangerous for teeth.

Of course, we need to accomplish tooth protection without smothering our kids. There’s a time and a place for mouth guards - we’re not saying that your kids should be wearing them whenever they’re outdoors. There are plenty of other ways to protect your little one’s pearly whites and still let them have some freedom. Check out our advice below, and let us know if you have any questions!

As a quick reminder before the summer starts, summer is a convenient time to schedule children’s dental exams since you’re not working around the school day. Set up your family’s today!

How to Keep Active Kids’ Smiles Intact

Keep an Eye on Your Kids

You don’t have to keep an eagle eye on your children, but you know that certain environments pose more safety risks than others. If they’re jumping off the jungle gym at the playground or setting new height records on the swingset, they might be making unsafe choices. Kids always want to go higher and farther, and they might be showing off for friends and putting their teeth in danger. Just be sure to look up now and then and check on them and this will help you avoid emergencies.

Stock up on The Right Snacks

Certain treats are better than others. Super chewy or sweet snacks or candy can lead to tooth damage, especially if your child bites right down on a hard treat instead of eating it slowly. There are plenty of special events and opportunities for sweets throughout the summer. But the sugar surrounding your kids doesn’t have to be a big problem.

Options like chocolate and popsicles are always better than Jolly Ranchers or Starbursts, because they melt and don’t stick to teeth. Always make fresh fruit and vegetables available and limit the number of treats in the home. Even if your kids are picky eaters, they can get accustomed to healthier options and become used to the taste and texture. They might even start to prefer raw fruit and vegetables - you’ll be surprised! And as always, make sure they brush before they leave the house in the morning and before they get in bed each night.

Talk about Avoiding Dental Emergencies

Help your kids understand that they play a role in protecting their teeth. They don’t have to end up in the dentist’s chair with a painful chip or broken tooth - and their choices help them avoid that fate. Talk about how they can take a little extra care when they’re running around this summer and that they can remember that their teeth are vulnerable. When they have added personal responsibility, they’ll be more interested in keeping their smiles safe.

Get Young Athletes Sports Guards

Sometimes kids really do benefit from wearing mouth guards. If your child is an athlete in the making and spending a lot of time playing contact sports, a custom guard will protect their teeth, jaws and even their head. Sports like football, soccer and baseball merit mouth guards. Is your child not jazzed about wearing a guard? Point out that that their favorite athletes wear sports guards too! Sports guards help prevent more than 200,000 injuries each year.

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Dr. Kim Dr. Kim

Dr. Kim Okamura

I'm Dr. Kim Okamura and this blog is a product of my love of dentistry. I dedicate it to all the patients I have served so that they may better understand my craft. The information here will give you and others the power to maintain and protect one of your most priceless gifts ... your SMILE.