Back-to-school season is upon us. As you scurry around to purchase school supplies and new outfits, don’t forget to prepare your child for optimal oral health. Did you know that poor oral health is a leading reason why kids miss school or fail to perform well? As a parent, there are things you can do to ensure that the condition of your child’s teeth doesn’t threaten their success at school this year.
Schedule That Routine Checkup
First and foremost, go ahead and book your child’s routine dental cleaning and exam before school begins. Your child should be seeing a dentist twice a year and “back to school” is the perfect time to get a comprehensive oral health evaluation. This allows your dentist to remove stains as well as plaque buildup that has developed over the summer. This not only sends your child back to school with a fresher and brighter smile, but it can also drastically lessen the chance of a cavity forming in the months to come. Preventive dental care is just as important as well checkups and scheduled immunizations from your physician.
Stock Up on Dental Hygiene Supplies
Glance at the condition of your child’s toothbrush – does it look frayed or worn out? Go ahead and buy a new toothbrush and toothpaste for your child to use during those rushed back-to-school mornings. If you have a younger child, you may even consider letting them choose their toothbrush, floss and toothpaste flavor, as this can make them more excited to actually use it! This may be a great time to invest in a powered or electric toothbrush if your child is one that drags in the mornings and needs some extra help getting the task done well.
Send Dental-Friendly Snacks
While not all children elect to eat the school lunch, most kids at least bring their own snack from home. The foods you choose to send each day for snack can play a critical role in how healthy their teeth and gums stay throughout the year. Be extra careful about sending in raisins and gummy treats, as these are high in sugar and very sticky, which means the harmful sugars will cling to their teeth and gums for several hours until they can brush.
Colgate lists the following as ideal snacks that supply the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that young mouths need:
- Low-fat yogurt with berries.
- Sliced, fresh watermelon.
- Crunchy veggies with dip.
- Celery sticks spread with cream cheese and sunflower seeds.
- Cheddar cheese and apples.
- Unsalted almonds and coconut flakes.
- Hummus with toasted whole grain pita triangles.
Is your child’s smile “back-to-school ready”? Call Park South Dentistry today to schedule that routine dental checkup to start the school year off right. We never want the comfort or condition of your child’s teeth to be a reason that they can’t concentrate in school or have to stay home.