Practicing good oral hygiene is very important for children during the summer time, especially when away at camps.
As kids venture away from home for the first time or any time, it is important to stress the need for good oral hygiene. Be sure to talk with your children about why it is important to brush and floss and make sure they can do it properly on their own.
1) Before they leave for camp, you may want to have a practice time period to allow them to take care of their own teeth. You can watch them and offer suggestions as needed.
2) Send two toothbrushes with them to camp. That way, if something happens to one, they have a back up.
3) Don’t rinse with water after brushing and flossing. When you rinse with water, you wash away the active ingredients (like fluoride) in toothpaste. It is much more beneficial to just spit out the excess toothpaste as needed, then floss and spit again, then no rinsing, and just go to bed with a clean mouth with fluoride and other active ingredients on your teeth. This allows the fluoride to be absorbed into the teeth over night, thus making the enamel stronger and more resistant to cavities.
Good luck, and I hope everyone has great summer!
Nathan A. Burns, DMD
Pediatric Dental Specialist