Parents say: summer vacation toughest time to get kids to brush teeth

Delta Dental provides simple tips to help ensure children's oral health habits don't take a vacation

OAK BROOK, Illinois - May 18, 2017 - When school breaks for the summer, too often, good oral health habits follow suit. According to parents in a nationwide survey by Delta Dental, nearly 30 percent say summer vacation is the most difficult time to get their children to keep up good oral health.

Not to fear, some simple tips can help parents keep their kid's oral health on track during the trying summer months.


  • Let your child pick a new, summer-themed toothbrush to kick off the summer right. Make sure you choose one with a small head and soft bristles.
  • Summer can be a time of sleepovers at friends or grandparents' houses, and they may not have the same routine as your family. Make sure to talk to your child about good brushing habits before they leave and check that they have their toothbrush, toothpaste and floss.
  • Some kids respond well to motivational charts and rewards to help establish routines. Keep a chart to rack up points for morning and night brushing - and don't forget about extra points for flossing!
  • Play music to make brushing more fun and more thorough - remember to brush for two minutes every time.
  • If your child is away from home, send them oral health reminder texts. Make it even more fun by sending each other tooth brushing selfies.
  • And don't forget, regular checkups at the dentist are important too. Avoid the end of summer rush and schedule an appointment with the dentist early.

About the Survey: The Children's Oral Health Survey was conducted between January 24, 2017 and January 31, 2017 among a nationally representative sample of 1,588 parents of children ages 6-12, with a margin of error of +/- 2.5%.