Families

Protect your smile from too much summer fun

“Toothy,” Interfaith Community Health Center’s dental mascot, marches in community parades.
“Toothy,” Interfaith Community Health Center’s dental mascot, marches in community parades. Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald

Here’s some advice from “Toothy,” the Interfaith Community Health Center mascot, on how to combat parade pitfalls.

Parade season means enjoying the sun. How can you protect you and your child’s skin when you’re in the sun?

Use sunscreen to protect your skin from sunburn. Wearing a hat that keeps you cool is a great way to not get overheated. One of the most important things to do is to drink water. Water keeps you hydrated and ready to play.

Everyone needs to know how to protect their skin, but remember: Your mouth is part of your body as well and needs special protections too. How can you keep your children’s teeth healthy at the parade and afterward?

▪ When at a parade, drink lots of water. It helps rinse off the sugary, gooey, sticky sweets at the parade.

▪ Brush your teeth after you eat sugary sweets or drinks. Did you know extra sugary foods create a lot more enamel-dissolving acid? Brushing regularly (two times a day and especially at night) and after eating is one of the best ways to avoid cavities.

▪ Did you know cavities can form between teeth, not just on the top of the tooth? Floss your teeth daily to help get rid of decay between teeth.

▪ Visit your dentist regularly for a checkup and have fluoride applied. That helps to strengthen enamel and prevent cavities from forming.

Dr. Carrie Shane is dental director at Interfaith Community Health Center.

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