Back to school prep is in full swing for the whole family. Your little ones have the latest wardrobe and a new backpack full of school supplies. You’ve done everything to help them succeed in class, but what about their oral health?
According to the American Dental Association, a dental check-up should be a regular part of back-to-school preparations. IT IS just as important as immunizations and booster shots.
In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that tooth decay affects U.S. children more than any other chronic infectious disease. More importantly, dental pain or disease can lead to difficulty in eating, speaking, playing and learning. This could mean millions of hours of missed school.
To help your child establish positive dental habits, here are 4 back-to-school dental tips from Dr. Jaju, Dr. Dang and the team at Smile Wonders:
Book regular check ups
Get regular dental exams to diagnose, prevent or treat dental problems. Because parents and teachers may not realize that there’s a dental problem, it’s important to schedule regular oral exams. This will also get your child more comfortable with going to the dentist for teeth cleanings.
Stick to a dental routine
Make brushing twice a day and flossing each night a consistent, mandatory part of every day. You can make it fun for the kids by allowing them to pick a toothbrush and floss of their favorite color or character. Also, remember to change to a new toothbrush every three months or so, or after an illness.
Make brushing and flossing fun
To keep their mouths healthy, kids need to brush twice a day for two minutes at a time. They should also floss every day, preferably after dinner. Try these tricks to make oral hygiene more exciting:
Use a sticker calendar
Let your kids place stickers on each day to represent brushing and flossing.
Collect your kids’ favorite two-minute songs and make sure they brush the whole time.
Help your child pick a themed toothbrush in his or her favorite color and the flavor of their toothpaste.
Provide a kid-friendly floss holder
These Y-shaped devices make flossing more comfortable.
Get help from big bro or sis
Many young ones look up to their older siblings, so why not have them help and show how to properly brush and floss? Before school and before bed, siblings can brush their teeth together to make sure the dental routine is accomplished.
Pack healthy lunches and snacks
Swap out lunchbox no-nos with healthy alternatives like grains, milk, cheese, raw vegetables, yogurt or fruit. If your child eats in the school cafeteria, review healthy, balanced food choices with him before the first day of school. Avoid sugary foods, crackers, cookies and soft drinks—they are the biggest culprits for causing cavities. Also encourage your kids to drink water regularly. It’s not only good for the body, it is also great for your teeth.
If you haven’t scheduled a dental exam for your kids, contact Smile Wonders for an appointment today!
11790 Sunrise Valley Drive
Suite 105 Reston, VA 20191