The Compassionate Blog

4 great tips for a happy healthy summer smile

Summer is great! Camping trips, visits with family, outdoor sports, climbing trees—and a unique time for dental issues. Cookouts and stayovers take children out of their routines. Rough-housing outside is fun, but can result in knocked-out teeth. Add to the mix a large serving of sugar and you have a season that needs special attention when it comes to caring for teeth. What are the issues? And how can you make a difference?

First, review your client files. Anyone with children is singled out. These are the people who need to be reminded of the special conditions posed by summertime activities. Depending on each client’s preferred method of communication (phone call, text message, email or snail mail) send out information that will help maintain dental health over the summer. And what do you tell them?

Pool Water and Ice

Most people are unaware of the damage chlorine can cause teeth. Chlorine pH level can seriously erode tooth enamel. Some dentists recommend an extra cleaning and fluoride treatment before a summer of soaking up the sun in the pool. Others suggest a brush or rinse after every swim in a chlorinated pool. If clients have a backyard pool, inform them about checking chlorine levels and providing a place to brush and spit after a swim. It could save thousands in dentist bills down the road.

Oh—and on hot days, your clients need to avoid chewing ice. Ice is hard, sharp and can cut gums, wreck filings and crack teeth. Yes, we know it feels good, but there are better ways to cool off with ice.

Snack Attacks on Teeth

Sure, you can remind your clients about snacks and dental disease. You can wag your finger at the teenager getting his braces adjusted. Sorry. The fact is, summer is the season of marshmallows, of eating in the woods, or munching on gummy worms while listening to stories around a fire. Kids are going to indulge. The best you can hope for is some semblance of regular dental care. To help, prepare small kits that can easily be packed in overnight bags: a travel toothbrush, floss and paste. Also, remind your clients that most hotels have emergency toothbrushes and paste at their front desks. They just have to ask.


Think About Mouthguards

Any child that plays organized sports needs a mouthguard. In the summer, when there is a greater likelihood of unsupervised play, your clients should sit down with their budding sports stars and insist that the mouthguard go wherever he or she goes. And remind clients that top sporting goods manufacturers make cool mouth guards for the particularly image-oriented child.

Who Do You Call?

Everyone is busy running around and of course, not usually thinking about dental emergencies. That’s where a good dentist comes in. You can prepare your patients by printing up cards or sending emails with your emergency numbers. Also, for the patients you see before the summer break, ask about their travel plans and let them know your office is always there for them in an emergency, even if they’re on vacation.

By doing the footwork ahead of time, your clients will be ready if—or when—dental emergencies happen. After all, everyone deserves a great summer vacation.

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