Dr Pyle's Weston Dentist Blog

Dental Care at Summer Camp

How can I ensure that my child’s teeth stay healthy while they are away at camp over the summer?

The best way to keep your child’s teeth healthy over the summer is to make sure they follow the same good dental habits they do at home. Remember to pack them a toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss, and remind them that just because they not at home doesn’t mean they do not have to take care of their teeth. It is all too easy for them to forget their normal routine without reminders in the excitement of summer camp!
In addition, many camps allow you to pack your child a meal or snacks. Nuts, fruits, cheese and crackers, and seed mixes are not only healthy, but also much better for your child’s teeth than a sugary packaged snack would be. If your child is not yet using products containing Xylitol, now would be a good time to start.

Why Xylitol?
Xylitol is a naturally occurring sweetener found in various fruits, berries, and vegetables. Although Xylitol looks and tastes exactly like sugar, studies have found that Xylitol promotes oral and overall health, and is also thought to promote the repair of damaged enamel.Xylitol is available in both gum and candies. So when your child is eating at camp and a toothbrush is not readily available, chewing Xylitol gum is the next best alternative to brushing after the meal. However, Xylitol gum is not a “substitute” for the twice daily brushing of one’s teeth, or any other routine dental care.

Plenty of water too!
Another important consideration for summer camps is to keep your child hydrated.Drinking water is not only important for general health, but also helps keep their mouths clean by cleansing away food.Consider replacing sugary, teeth-rotting sodas and juices with plenty of water.

Mouth Protection
Finally, many summer camps (especially sports camps) involve a lot of strenuous physical activity.All of this provides plenty of opportunities for a mouth injury.If you know that your child’s camp will involve sports or other demanding activities, consider getting a mouth guard. Mouth guards prevent a variety of injuries, including jaw damage, loose or knocked out teeth, cuts in the mouth, and can even protect braces.If an injury does occur, be sure to see a local dentist as soon as possible. Quick treatment is the key to preventing further damage, and prompt action can usually save even a knocked out tooth, if the original tooth is recovered and stored in water.
We advise our Weston area dental patients that with a little thoughtful preparation, they can prepare their children to have both a fun time at summer camp, as well as insure that their teeth stay healthy!

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