Make Sure Your Kids Stay Hydrated This Summer [blog]

Family Dentistry 3 in Waco, TX by Dr. Michael Thrasher of Hillcrest Dental Care

Texas’ hot summer sun has no mercy it seems. Summer is a fantastic time for enjoying outside activities, but the heat can wreak havoc with our smiles if we’re not careful. Your children, in particular, need to stay well-hydrated to avoid dental problems this summer.

Don’t fall victim to multi-million dollar ad campaigns touting sugary drinks as a quick fix for kids’ thirst. There’s nothing better than cool, clear water to hydrate your kids and keep them refueled for all of summer’s busy activities.

With this blog post, we want to focus on a few key ways you can keep your kids hydrated. If you have any questions or if you need to make appointments for your family, call us today at 254-400-2868. Our talented and trained staff is always glad to help!

Why Worry About Hydration?

First of all, it’s important to know why your child should stay hydrated this summer.

A healthy amount of saliva is necessary to help wash away food particles from your child’s teeth. If your kiddo becomes dehydrated, their mouth may not be able to produce enough saliva to keep their teeth clean. Cavities, gum disease, or other problems could result and lead to discomfort and unnecessary expense.

Plus, the simple act of drinking water helps to flush debris and harmful acids from your kids’ mouths. So, when they’re “dying of thirst,” hand them a tall glass or bottle of water – instead of soda or another sugary substitute.

Avoid Keeping Soda Around the House

Speaking of soda – just don’t buy it! Kids are naturally going to gravitate toward the sweet fizzy stuff if it’s on hand. The big soda companies (along with other sugary drink makers) spend lots of money so that their products are the first things kids grab when they’re thirsty.

As parents, we have to make it easier for kids to make water their beverage of choice. The simple solution is to just not have soda and similar drinks around. “Out of sight, out of mind,” the old saying goes.

Your kids might complain a little in the beginning. “But Haley gets to have soda at her house. Why can’t I?” You may hear that a few times, but pretty soon reaching for a glass of water will become second nature to your kids. And much better for their growing teeth and bodies.

Make Drinking Water Fun & Cool

Spend a little time thinking of creative ways to make water more fun for your kiddos. A little planning ahead can pay big dividends to your children’s health.

Take your kids to the store with you and let them each pick out one or two designated water containers. A bottle, cup, or something similar will work. Make it their choice as long as it’s for water only. Cartoon and movie characters, animals, and bright colors are usually among kids’ favorites.

Or you can go to a craft store and buy some plain containers and kid-safe markers. Under your supervision, let them have fun decorating their cups and personalizing them. This is a way for them to truly own the whole experience.

Depending on your kids’ ages and level of maturity, you may even want to put them in charge of washing and drying their water container.

Crazy, colorful, loopy straws will also add some fun to ordinary water. Just like their drinking cups, let your kids pick out a couple of out-of-the-ordinary straws that will make drinking water more exciting. Younger kids especially like these kinds of wild straws.

Ice is almost always a hit with kids. They love it, so adding ice to their water will encourage them to drink more of it. You can find ice trays online or in stores that make ice in fun, kid-friendly designs. For an added educational benefit, you can even be sneaky and buy some that make letters and numbers. Your kids will never know what you’re up to!

Use Fruit to Up Your Kids’ Water Intake

There are lots of tasty, nutritious fruits out there packed full of water. These include watermelon, cantaloupe, strawberries, peaches, and pineapple. All of these fruits contain a high amount of water, so when your kids want a snack, offer them one of these fruits instead of chips or cookies.

To encourage kids to reach for fruit, cut it into small pieces and put into single-serving plastic bags in the fridge. Make it readily accessible and they’ll be more likely to grab it when they want a quick snack to grub on.

Just like with soda, don’t keep calorie-laden, non-nutritious junk food around. If your kids don’t see it, pretty soon they won’t want it. One day you might even hear, “Hey Mom! We’re out of strawberries!” instead of “Ah, Mom, you forgot to buy cookies when you went to the store!”

Fruit will satisfy your kids’ cravings, provide them with more water, and even improve their nutrition!  

Start Your Kids Off Early With Good Habits

Be thoughtful and creative about coming up with ways for your kids to have more fun drinking water. Just like any other habit of good nutrition, water-drinking should be encouraged from an early age. The more “cool” water seems to your kids, the better.

They may be resistant at first, especially if they’re older. Stick to your guns, however, because their teeth, gums, and mouths depend on adequate hydration to stay healthy and attractive.

If you or your kids need to schedule regular dental checkups, give our office a call today. You can also make appointments online. We look forward to seeing you soon!

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