Dental Hygiene Habits and the Changing Summer Routine
Maintaining Dental Hygiene Habits Amidst Changing Routines
As the school year winds down and summer approaches, many of us are looking at some rather significant changes in our daily and weekly routines. Children will be out of school, staying home or with sitters or going to camps. Parents will be dealing with the energy of their out-of-school children, going on vacation and, of course, still keeping to their work schedules. Summer is the season where everyone seems to change up their regular way of doing things, from vacations to work schedules to how we spend our free time.
Habits and Routines
Our habits, whether good or bad, are established and reinforced by our daily routines. Dental hygiene habits are no different — one of the main ways we remember to care for our teeth is through our morning and evening routines. We brush and floss right after we make our coffee in the morning, or perhaps right after we change into our pajamas in the evenings. When we experience a change in our daily routine, many of our larger and smaller (although very important) habits may suffer. It takes a conscious effort on our part to make sure that we keep good dental health habits so that our mouths and our teeth do not suffer.
Summer is one of those times when we need to make sure that we fit good dental hygiene habits into our newly reconfigured routines. In fact, it’s interesting to note that adding new habits and routines is easiest when we are having to overhaul our general daily routines. So what does this mean? It means that we pay special attention, with summer coming, to fit our dental health into our new routines. It also means that if we do not already have good dental health habits, then the approaching summer offers us the perfect opportunity to establish them!
Proper Dental Habits
So, what do good dental hygiene habits look like? Dentists recommend:
- Brushing twice a day
- Flossing once a day
- Limiting sweets
- Education about the causes and prevention of tooth decay and loss
- Encouraging a diet that is best for teeth, such as fruits and vegetables and low sugar items
Parents and Kids
“It is important for adults to establish and maintain proper dental hygiene, and it is critical that parents help their children do the same,” says Dr. Achord. Children learn by observation; if our children see us exhibiting good, healthy habits, then it helps reinforce the need for those habits in the children. We can teach our children and talk to them about dental health, but nothing helps so much as kids actually seeing those practices put into action on a daily basis.
So as summer approaches, think ahead as to how you will establish and maintain good dental hygiene habits in your own home: plan a trip to the dentist, set specific times for brushing and flossing, get involved in planning healthy meals and snack foods, think of fun games and rewards that are age appropriate for your children. Most of all, keep in mind that good dental health is something that all of us need to pay proper attention to, regardless of our age. Teeth are something that we all strive to keep our entire lives — start taking good care of them today!
Achord Family Dentistry is located at 4290 Lakeland Drive, Suite C in Flowood, MS. Dr Achord also holds a degree in immunopathology. His areas of focus include restorative dental care, diseases of the mouth and their effects on the rest of the body, and dental treatment for patients undergoing radiation and chemotherapy.
Matthew Jackson is an author, a member of thinkWRITE Guild, and a contributing writer for County Connections.