Summer vacation is here, the kids are out of school, and many of us have abandoned at least some of our structured daily routines for lazy and fun-filled days free from super-strict scheduling.
But as you are busy with your families, spending time at the pool, enjoying tasty cook-outs, going on vacation, or just hanging out around the house, it is important to remember that when it comes to our health, it’s not okay to take a break from our usual schedules.
One thing that can be easy to slack off on during summer vacation is regularly brushing your teeth. But according to Dr. Travis Stork, one of the physicians featured on the syndicated medical talk show “The Doctors”, good oral hygiene is important every day of the year.
“Number one, don’t ignore brushing your teeth—brush your teeth twice daily,” Stork said during a video-taped interview. “Floss daily, and stay hydrated with the right kinds of beverages; so you are staying hydrated with good old-fashioned water and non-sugar fluids, which is going to keep your saliva production up, which helps prevent cavities and prevent gum disease.”
Stork said that it’s best to stick with basic beverages like plain water because it will not create a welcoming environment in your mouth for bacteria to flourish.
“If throughout the day during summer you’re drinking sugary beverages—things like fruit juice and sodas loaded with sugar—that creates a milieu in your mouth where bacteria thrive and they eat off that sugar all day long, creating an acidic environment that eats away at your tooth enamel,” he said. “That’s not a good thing, particularly for your kids.”
Stork knows that most kids also love to feast on sugary snacks. Although he does not expect or ask parents to deny their children these treats all of the time, he did offer advice on the best way to handle serving these sweet treats.
“If they are sequentially spread throughout the day, that means all day long your mouth and your kids’ mouths are exposed to sugar, so give them spot snacks so you know that all day long they don’t have sugar coating their teeth,” he said.