Winter can be one of the most exciting and fun-filled times of year. The snowy landscape and icy temperatures present an ideal environment for winter activities and games. That being said, freezing temperatures and hidden ice patches can lead to falls that might wind up sending you or your child to the emergency room. It is okay to get out there and have fun, but equally important to take steps to avoid accidental injuries.
Protecting your child’s mouth is a full-time job, but in the winter, oral care for children means finding the right balance between fun and safety. Snowball fights, drier air and hot drinks can all put teeth at risk for damage.
Here are a few notable winter safety tips:
- Keep walkways and stairs cleared of snow and ice. This protects not just your family, but also postal carriers and other people in your neighbourhood.
- Lighten your load. Carry fewer bags and packages on slippery days, since excess baggage can throw off your balance and make it tough to regain it.
- Drink warm fluids. Warm fluids can help keep you toasty, but avoid alcohol. Alcohol impairs your balance and your judgment.
- Slow down! Better to get to your destination late than never, after all.
- For warmth and stability in your footwear, look for a thick, non-slip tread sole; rubber or neoprene soles provide good traction on ice and snow.
For young winter athletes, or those who simply enjoy activities like skiing or skating, you’ll need to provide additional protection from physical damage. Accidents during sports make up a large percentage of dental injuries in kids. Having your child wear a mouth guard or facemask when playing any type of winter sport will lower his or her risk for dental injury. These can be custom-fitted by your family dentist.
Maintaining good dental habits in the winter is one of the most important aspects of protecting our kids’ oral health. Brushing twice daily and flossing once a day are especially important when a little one has the cold or flu. This winter, protect your child’s health by making sure they stay warm and dry, but also keep a watchful eye on their overall safety by taking steps to protect their teeth.