Young girl brushing teeth with mother by her side

Start the School Year Right: Back to School Dental Tips

It’s easy to let dental hygiene slack during the summer holidays. Lots of sugary ice cream at the beach, yummy barbecues, sweet snacks and treats that we all enjoy.

But when preparing to send your kids back to school, don’t forget that proper pediatric dental hygiene is just as important as new school backpacks, pens, and pencils. There’s no better time than the start of a new school year to relearn or develop better dental hygiene habits.

The key is doing a little more each day, a little more consistently. Here are ten things to keep in mind that will save your kids’ teeth in the long run!

1. Get Back to a Good Routine

Do your kids brush at least twice a day and floss regularly? If they have been skipping any morning routines due to extra sleep-ins or sleep-overs at friends, now is the time to get back in the habit. Talk to the kids to remind them what your family standard for the daily schedule is, and enforce the rules for brushing and flossing routines.

2. Commend them for Good Dental Habits

If your child or children have been making an extra effort during the holidays to keep up with teeth brushing and dental hygiene, they should be rewarded. Easy gifts are such things a new toothbrush in their favorite colors, or a new pack of flossers to encourage even better teeth health. Children need lots of encouragement when developing habits, so always stay on the positive side and let them know when they are doing a good job, independently.

3. Schedule that Dental Check-Up

If you aren’t seeing your dentist every six months, now is a great time to form the habit. Your child’s baby teeth need just as much care as permanent ones. If they need to get braces put on, the few days before school starts will give extra time for fitting and getting used to a new adjustment. Infected or decaying teeth should also be looked at before the school year, so your kid can go back to school with the best smile possible.

4. Stock up on supplies

Besides getting new toothbrushes, the recommended kiddy toothpaste, and floss, you should also be stocking up on healthier food. Trade ice-cream for yogurt; sugary pancakes for fruits in the morning. Talk to your kids about the importance of a healthy diet, but keep it positive. Explain that it is okay to indulge in some of those yummy foods during holidays and vacations, but that their brains need extra learning power for the school year. Healthy food plans will contribute to good grades and a sharper memory—believe it, or not!

5. Pack Water Bottles to School

Sugary sports drinks can be replaced with water. It’s healthy and simple, and won’t have the acidity that sports drinks have. This acidity actually wears down tooth enamel, causing weaker and discolored teeth. Drinking plenty of water every day should be one of those healthy habits that you form now so that when they return to school, they’ll be used to it already.

6. Get a Mouthguard Fitted

If your child is going to be involved with sports during the upcoming school year, ensure that he or she has a mouthguard properly fitted and ready. It’s not just essential for kids who play contact sports such as football. Other gymnastic exercises, water sports, or active sports may also require a mouthguard. This will keep their jaw, teeth, and bones protected in case of any potential injuries. Orthodontic mouthguards for children can be requested from your dentist, so don’t forget this important item on the back-to-school list!

7. Talk to Your Dentist with Your Child

Encourage your child, if he or she is old enough, to speak openly with your dentist about any questions they may have. Perhaps they have aches or pains but are too afraid to mention it, for fear of the dentist. Whatever the reason, teach them that a dentist is always looking out for their health and happiness. Getting teeth problems fixed and having healthy gums is one way that their bodies remain strong and healthy throughout the school year. In order for dental hygiene and those regular visits to be successful, find a dentist whom your child feels comfortable with.

The American Dental Association, says that children’s dental examinations are just as important as immunizations. You want to do all you can to ensure that their teeth and gums are protected from anything that may cause decay now, and in the future. When making your back-to-school checklist, talk to other parents who have children with dental issues, as they can also provide parental insights and suggestions.

Contact Us

If you would like a consultation with our professional health providers and dentists, give us a call today. We at Your Dental Health Partners can provide you with more advice about preparing your child for the coming school year, and giving them the best chance at healthy dental hygiene for life!

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