It’s back to school, the start of a new school year! Your kids are set with new clothes and school supplies. But don’t forget about oral health! Add these dental health tips to your back-to-school checklist.
1. Take your kids to the dentist
- Start the school year right with a dental cleaning and exam. Ask your child’s dentist about sealants and fluoride treatments to prevent decay. These treatments are easy ways to stop cavities before they start. And they can even improve your child’s performance at school.
- Give yourself enough time by making it a habit to call when your child gets her spring report card each year. “Planning ahead is good,” Dr. Ordonez says. “If families want to avoid the rush to go back to school in August, then plan on getting appointments for the beginning of the summer.”
2. Pick the right snacks
- Swap out lunchbox no-no’s with healthy alternatives. Instead of chips or crackers, try nuts. Salty snacks may seem healthy because they don’t contain sugar, but simple starches can be just as bad. These snacks break down into a sticky goo, coating teeth and promoting decay. Avoid candies and granola bars, offering crunchy snacks like celery sticks, baby carrots and cubes of cheddar cheese.
- Monitor sugar intake. Most kids love sweets, but sugar-packed snacks and drinks can wreak havoc on your child’s teeth. The dentists at Kool Smiles recommend moderating kids’ intake of sugary foods during and after school hours.
- Practice the 3-2-1 rule. Have your kids practice the 3-2-1 rule at home: eat three (3) healthy meals, brush two (2) times (morning and night), and floss at least one (1) time every day
3. 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.
- Play music. Collect your kids’ favorite two-minute songs and make sure they brush the whole time.
- Personalize. Help your child pick a themed toothbrush in his or her favorite color.
- Provide a kid-friendly floss holder. These Y-shaped devices make flossing more comfortable.
Why it’s important to schedule a back-to-school dental checkup for your child?
Simply put, early detection of problems: Good dental health is closely linked to academic success, adding that back-to-school checkups can help identify potential dental problems before they have a chance to take a toll on kids’ success in the classroom.
Cavities and other dental diseases can lead to pain, trouble eating, difficulty speaking, and school absences. In fact, dental disease causes kids to miss more than 51 million school hours each year.
During your child’s back-to-school dental visit, a dental team will clean your child’s teeth, check for cavities, and make sure your child is keeping up with good brushing and flossing habits. The appointment likely won’t take more than an hour, but its positive effect on your child’s dental health is sure to be long-lasting. Let South Miami Family Dental be there to help you during this time, and schedule your back to school appointment today.