Are These on Your Children's Back-to-School Checklist?
With the hustle and bustle of kids going back to school upon us again, we know there is one thing on parent’s minds this fall: How do I keep up with my children’s oral health?...right?...anyone? Okay, maybe it’s just us, but dental-related emergencies result in the loss of over 50 million school hours every year. Often kids will rush in the morning as they get ready for school and forget to spend the necessary amount of time brushing their teeth, resulting in preventable cavities and time away from school. Now it becomes easy to understand why tooth decay is the most common chronic infection in children, with nearly 20% of decay left untreated.
In addition to school supplies and clothes, your child’s back-to-school checklist should include:
Daily brushing and flossing. It is recommended that we brush our teeth twice per day for two minutes each time. Kitchen timers can be an easy addition to help your children (or yourself) keep track of time and make sure they are brushing for the full two minutes. You can also help make it fun by letting your kids pick out their own toothbrush (as long as it is the correct size and soft bristled) and toothpaste flavor. You could even let them pick out several different toothbrushes and flavors to alternate each month.
Pack a nutritious lunch and snack. Look for portable healthy options such as grains, milk, cheese, raw vegetables, yogurt, or fruit. Cheeses are especially good as they help to neutralize teeth-eroding acids. While you may not be able to control what is available at the school like fruit juices and soda, you can help set a good example at home that could carry over to their decisions at school to cut back on those sugary options.
Regular Hygiene Therapy. Your hygienist and dentist can spot any issues before they have a chance to cause a tooth ache, making regular appointments very important. Fluoride and sealants are other great preventative measures to keep you children’s teeth strong and prevent decay. If you children have not had their hygiene therapy in over six months, be sure to call us for an appointment before our schedule fills up!
Properly fitted mouthguard. If your child participates in any organized or recreational sports, PE class, or playground activities, be sure to get them a mouthguard to prevent accidental tooth chipping or cracking from falls or a stray football. Visit any sporting goods store, or ask us about our Under Armour mouthguards.
For more information and dental health tips, visit ADA.org or call us at 765-448-4242!