Whether you are spending a day at the beach, hosting or going to a pool party, or watching your kids run through a sprinkler, water can make even the hottest summer days something to enjoy.
But don’t overlook one of the most important things that water can do for you and your family. It can keep you hydrated. This is important for your overall health, but it’s great for your oral health, too.
While it can be tempting to drink sweet soft drinks and sports drink, it’s better to drink cold water more often than not. It’s true that all of these beverages can help prevent dehydration and dry mouth. However, many soft and sports drinks contain as much or more sugar than candy bars.
We aren’t saying you can’t ever enjoy one of those drinks. Instead, our team at The Smile Center wants to encourage you to encourage your family to drink more water this summer.
We also hope you will visit us for a cleaning and exam. Pediatric dentistry is a big part of what we do at our offices in Georgetown and Murrells Inlet, SC.
Until then, here are few suggestions for ways you can help motivate your kids (and yourself) to drink more water.
Invest in Fun Water Bottles
This summer will be filled with adventure, animated, and superhero movies. That means a lot of merchandise tied to those franchises.
We aren’t saying that you should buy every cup with a logo or a movie character on it. If your son or daughter has a favorite character, getting a water bottle with that character’s picture could help. Make it a rule that he or she can only use the bottle to drink water.
Your children might see this as a fair trade.
Of course, there are so many kinds of water bottles in all sorts of colors, shapes, and styles, you could find one that fits the personality of every member of your family. This may seem like a small thing, but it could make you and your kids more likely to bring water with them to practices and games instead of a sports drink.
Keep Fruit-Infused Water in the Fridge
We understand why kids (and adults) enjoy soft drinks. The flavor makes them taste good. This also makes that more tempting to drink than a glass of water from your tap.
So, how about you do something to make that tap water a little tastier, too?
One way to do this is to make fruit-infused water. Get a glass container that you can close with a lid of some sort.
Add some slices of citrus fruits, fresh berries, or pieces of melons add some real flavor to plain water. Once you’ve added your fruit, fill the jar with water and seal it. Leave it the fridge overnight to let the water take on the fruit flavors.
The longer you leave it, the more the flavors will be absorbed and the more noticeable they will be.
You could even turn this into a fun family activity by trying new combinations of fruits and berries. (Some people even use mint.) Who knows, you and your kids might just find that this gives you a healthier alternative to the sweetened fruit juices many kids want.
Make it a Family Contest
Kids love games, so why not make drinking water into a game.
Set a goal to drink 6 or 8 glasses per day. Offer a prize at the end of the summer for the family member or members who met the goal on the most days.
You could make a scoreboard to keep track of how well you, your spouse or partner, and your children do. The competition can keep your kids motivated. Plus it gives your parents a chance to model good behavior for their kids.
And what kid wouldn’t love to beat their parents in a contest?
Create a Water Intake Chart
To go along with the contest or may just as an individual goal, create a chart to track how well each member of your family is doing.
Using stickers or a big drawing of a water bottle that your kids can fill in throughout the summer might be all the incentive they need. Think back to your days in school. Getting a sticker was a big deal back then.
So, why not take advantage of your kids’ love for stickers or coloring to create a fun way to keep track of their progress.
Set the Example
Whatever you decide to do, it’s important that you, as a parent, participate in this project as well.
By making an effort to be healthier, you are setting a good example for your kids. By making it a family activity, you are also doing something with your children.
You might be surprised by just how excited your kids will be both by seeing how well they are doing along with how well you are doing. You and your kids can be one another’s biggest cheerleaders on your journey to drink more water, and therefore fewer sugary drinks throughout the summer.
Building this habit is something that can carry into fall, winter, and spring. It might even give you another reason to look forward to next summer!
And Don’t Forget to Brush
Drinking more water is a great way to reduce your risk of tooth decay and cavities.
But you still need to brush and floss daily. You also should schedule a few professional cleanings and exams throughout the year.