Dr. Steven Yuan, dentist in Bloomingdale, shares five pediatric dental care tips to keep your child’s teeth cavity-free during the summer.
Melting ice cream, frozen lemonade, and barbecue chicken: while seemingly classic childhood summertime staples, did you know that each item on this list can contain more than 25 grams of sugar per serving? Combined with the lax dental hygiene habits the routinelessness of summer may present, the warmest season can also be the worst for pediatric cavities. However, there is hope for parents struggling to prevent cavities in their children: studies have shown that forming healthy dental habits at a young age will help children have healthy teeth for life. By following the simple tips below, you can significantly reduce your children’s chances of developing cavities.
1. Make tooth brushing fun!
Purchasing toothbrushes that light up or have your child’s favorite cartoon characters on them is a good way to make a daily routine fun. Bubblegum or fruit-flavored toothpastes also encourage children to brush their teeth, eliminating the “stinging” feeling of minty toothpastes. Make sure that the toothpastes you purchase for your child list that fluoride is included.
2. Limit summertime sweets
Cold desserts and sugary drinks can lead to plaque buildup, making it much more difficult for your child to remove bacteria through tooth brushing. Some summertime foods may also contain a surprising generous amount of sugar—such as ketchup and barbecue sauces—so it is recommended that you read the nutrition facts before purchasing food.
3. Schedule biannual dental cleanings and exams
Dental cleanings remove calcified plaque that is impossible to get rid of through tooth brushing and flossing alone. Dental exams allow dentists to catch potential dental problems in their earliest stages, preventing expensive, complicated dental work down the line. During your child’s dental exam, your dentist will also check to ensure that the teeth are properly developing.
4. Wash hands after outdoor activities (especially before eating!)
Outdoor bacteria can spread to the teeth and gums for children who have a habit of sticking unwashed fingers in their mouths. Make sure your child washes his or her hands after going outside, especially before eating a meal. The hygienic practice of washing hands before a meal goes a long way in not only preventing illnesses, but also preventing dental cavities.
5. Avoid chewing ice cubes
While a seemingly harmless activity, frequent ice cube chewing can lead to dental fractures and weakened enamel. Additionally, craving ice cubes may be symptoms of iron deficiency or obsessive-compulsive disorder. If your child is craving ice cubes, it is advised that you schedule an appointment with your pediatrician to check for mineral deficiencies. You can also replace ice cubes with fresh fruits and veggies if your children want something to munch on.
About the Author, Dr. Steven Yuan, D.D.S.
At Aesthetic Dental LLC, Dr. Steven Yuan and his team of dental professionals offer high quality dental treatment in a comfortable environment. Dr. Yuan, Bloomingdale dentist, treats TMJ headaches and provides root canal therapy, cosmetic dentistry, Invisalign, dental implants and teeth whitening. Please visit to learn more about Dr. Yuan’s family dentistry services.