June 21st marks the day when, with a little tilt of the earth’s semi-axis, the earth leans a wee bit closer to the sun and ushers in … what those of us in the northern hemisphere have been looking forward to for a long time … Summer! Yeah! Off come the jackets, and out comes the sunscreen, the bikes, summer sports gear and whatever makes you kids happy this time of year. And that’s not all! June also brings with it Father’s Day, International Children’s Day and Fruit and Vegetable Awareness Day. Who knew you could squeeze so much fun into just 30 days? With that in mind, let’s check out a few dental-centered tips you can toss your kids’ way while they’re out there soaking up the sun.
- Cover up their lips! Speaking of sun, as parents we’re great at lathering up little Johnny and Suzie with sunscreen before they run outside. But how often are you covering up their lips as well? Cancers of the lip are just as deadly as any other type of cancer, and as you might imagine, terribly disfiguring. So, polish up those tiny lips with as high an SPF as you’d like this summer and keep those kissers safe!
- Don’t let ‘em sip all day long: With the summer heat you’ll want your kids to stay hydrated, and water should be their best friend. Adults tend to cheat a bit and splurge on tea, juice, or sports drinks, but kids are inclined to stick to what you give them. So if a nice cold bottle of water is what you provide, that’s what they’ll drink.
- Sports drinks, sweet tea, and juices should be enjoyed in moderation. Not only do these drinks have tons of sugar in them, but the continued sipping of those sugary beverages keeps their teeth bathed in cavity-inducing carbs. So, suggest they rinse with water in between sips if possible, or at least follow up a sweet beverage with plain water.
- Fire-up the grill: Meats and vegetables cooked gently over the fire not only smell terrific, but are great for your kids’ teeth as well. Meats and vegetables help to re-mineralize teeth and support healthy bones, so get cookin’!
- Tune-up the bike! Don’t forget, just like a car that’s been sitting in a garage for months is going to need a safety tune-up before getting back on the road again, so too is a bicycle that’s been locked up in cobweb-city for six months. Do your kids, and their teeth a favor and bring their bikes in for tune-ups. There’s nothing worse than taking the bike out for a spin when summer hits only to have a wheel come off, a face hit the ground and kiddie crowns installed on the same day.
Summer will be over before you know it, so get outside, enjoy the sun, get your Vitamin D, enjoy the water if you can, and have fun with your family. With Father’s Day AND Children’s Day in the same month … it’s happy times for the whole family – no matter the size!