Summer is a great time for the entire family to slow down and enjoy one another. However, it is also the time for teens to get out of their habits from the school year. This includes proper oral health habits, such as brushing twice a day and flossing once a day. Here are four tips for parents to ensure their teen is able to maintain their oral health throughout the warm, summer months:

1. Stress the Importance of Continued Brushing When Away From Home.

During the school year, you are able to make sure that your teen brushes their teeth each morning and each evening. However, when they are away from home at summer camp, you can't be there to ensure this is done. You can stress to your teen how important it is to keep brushing. Failure to brush will not only lead to cavities, but it will also lead to yellow-ish teeth and bad breath. You may want to consider adding a daily check list or brushing chart in your teen's cosmetic bag as a reminder.

2. Keep Your Teen Active.

When at home, especially during the summer, your teen may want to spend countless hours in front of the television watching movies or TV shows or playing video games. Alternatively, your teen may prefer sitting in front of the computer all day. Whatever the case may be, this leads to extra snacks being consumed because your teen is "bored". This can eventually lead to not only weight gain but tooth decay as well. Get your teen out and about so that this doesn't happen.

3. Only Offer Tooth-Friendly, Healthy Snacks.

Rather than allowing your teens to fill their mouths with chocolate and other unhealthy snacks, make sure your refrigerator and pantry are stocked full of healthy snacks that are good for their teeth. This can include anything from celery with hummus or whole grain crackers to yogurt with nuts or string cheese.

4. Opt for Water Over Sports Beverages.

When you send your child off to a sports camp or even a game, it is important that you ensure your teen has plenty of water. While sports drinks may come off as the best option, they are very high in sugar content, which leads to chaos in the mouth. Plus, keeping water on-hand will save you money while you're saving your teen's teeth, as sports beverages can be rather expensive.

With the potential of daily routines becoming much more relaxed during the summer, it is important that parents take action to help keep their teens on top of their oral health game. Summer is also a good time to schedule an appointment with your dentist for a cleaning and check-up. For more information, contact a professional like Artistic Dentistry by Gerard Wasselle, DMD.