February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, so what better time to talk about how to keep up with dental health for kids while on vacation? Many thanks to the American Dental Association for sponsoring this post.
It’s easy to slip on good dental habits when you’re traveling. Everything about your routine is off, after all, but it’s important that we don’t let our kids go to bed without brushing their teeth just because we got in way too late after a long day of sightseeing. You’ll only be shortchanging the long-term dental health of your children, so be the bad guy and make them clean those pearly whites! Here are a few more of my tried and true tips for maintaining kids’ dental health while traveling.
1. Stick to their brushing routine
The ADA recommends brushing for two minutes, twice a day. So make it a habit to brush every morning and every night, regardless of where you are or how your day has been. If two teeth are touching, it’s time to add cleaning between their teeth to the routine, too. Buy brightly colored floss picks to make the task a little more fun. Remember that baby teeth (which your baby is actually born with, they are just under the gums) are just as important to care for as adult teeth.
2. Pack savory snacks for the trip, instead of sweet ones
Healthy dental habits take place all day long, so avoid candy and sugar whenever possible. This is pretty basic when it comes to dental health for kids, but with all that’s on the market, it can seem unavoidable. Stick to cheese slices, beef jerky, crackers, and use fruit as a snack item that gives them a little sweetness. Designate dessert items (candy bars are included in this) as special occasion foods and not something your kids consume regularly. There are actually tons of benefits to this, like minimizing the risk of childhood obesity, diabetes, and behavior issues, in addition to dental health benefits.
3. Encourage kids to drink water instead of sugary drinks
Sure, you’re on vacation, so if this isn’t a “special occasion” what is, am I right? Nope! There’s no reason your kids need to drink anything other than water throughout the day. Bonus points for giving them drinking water with fluoride in it. Also known as “nature’s cavity fighter,” fluoride has been shown to reduce cavities by 25%. Drinks like fruit juice (even those labeled 100% natural), soda and sports drinks can increase your risk of cavities, while water with fluoride protects teeth.
4. Use pacifier wipes and don’t share utensils
If you’ve got a baby or toddler, remember that cavity-causing bacteria can be passed through saliva. This means, you could actually be introducing germs to your child if you “clean” his or her pacifier by putting it in your mouth. The same goes for sharing utensils. Cavities are contagious, so do your little one a favor and keep your germs to yourself.
Remember these simple tips while traveling and you won’t sacrifice dental health for kids just because you’re out of your normal routine. Brush as usual, skip sugary snacks, encourage kids to drink water, and keep your germs to yourself!
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of American Dental Association.
About Carmen Sognonvi
Carmen Sognonvi is a luxury family travel content creator at Top Flight Family, named a top 10 family travel Instagram account by Time Out New York and Brit + Co. Her insights on travel have been featured in The Washington Post, INSIDER, Huffington Post, Wanderlust Travel Magazine, TravelPulse, HOTELS Magazine, and more. Carmen firmly believes that you can (and should) travel with your kids from a young age. She offers families practical solutions for travel, as well as tips on how to travel in luxury for less. She lives in New York City with her multiracial and multicultural family of four. Follow her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
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