Many of us have fallen out of our normal routines due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Hinze has seen the consequences in many of his young patients this summer.

Without the regular schedule of school, Dr. Hinze said many kids are “forgetting” to brush their teeth.

Here are a few tips to help kids and teens maintain healthy teeth this summer:

  1. Encourage kids to brush at least twice per day, but if they can only remember to brush once, encourage a good brush right before bed. A nighttime tooth scrubbing rids the teeth of any sugar or pop that cling to teeth and cause decay overnight.
  2. Offer a new experience, like a fluoride rinse, to help protect the teeth between brushing. Dr. Hinze said many good rinses are on the market, including ACT Kids Anti-cavity Mouthwash and Listerine Smart Rinse. Fluoride is one of the best ways to prevent or reduce cavities, especially in children.
  3. Create a to-do list or chart of chores that includes brushing teeth. Be sure the list or chart has a space for kids to mark off that they have completed the task. Having that visual reminder is often all it takes to motivate some children.
  4. For younger kids, let them pick a new summer-themed or character-inspired toothbrush.
  5. Encourage older children or teens to set up a toothbrushing reminder alert on their smartphones if they have one.
  6. Choose a song or several songs that last for at least two minutes, and encourage children to brush gently until the song ends.
  7. Some parents have inquired about electric toothbrushes to encourage kids to brush. Dr. Hinze said regular toothbrushes or electric toothbrushes will only work if they are used. Whatever will encourage children to brush is best.

Please remember to schedule your child’s summer dental check-up and cleaning soon by giving us a call at (308) 995-5331.