Your child’s first day back to school after a long, relaxing winter break can be a tough adjustment. After weeks of sleeping in, indulging on holiday sweets and uninterrupted fun, who can blame them? Transitioning from lazy mornings to rushing kids out the door to and to the bus stop can mean certain things, like dental care, tend to fall through the cracks. These back to school dental tips can help ease your child’s transition into an oral care-conscious new year.
Brush before breakfast.
The idea that holding off on brushing until after breakfast can do more harm than good. Since many children eat their breakfasts while en route to school, they miss out on an opportunity to maintain a healthy dental routine. The ADA suggests that both adults and children brush at least twice a day. This helps prevent the mouth’s pH levels from dipping low enough for cavities to form. So, even if your children are brushing before eating breakfast, it’s still helping them prevent cavities from forming.
On a busy morning, some parents may only have time for certain tasks–like brushing their child’s hair or choosing a pair of shoes. This means brushing their child’s teeth may be pushed to the bottom of the to-do list. Instead of focusing on one task at a time, children can brush their teeth while their hair is styled. Shoes can be fetched while they are rinsing. Get the idea? Multitasking will allow for a smoother first day back to school and still allows your children to fulfill their dental care duties.
Be conscious of what they eat/drink.
When maintaining a clean, cavity-free smile, diet is everything. Children often gravitate towards processed, sugary snacks to add into their lunch boxes, and sometimes school lunch options aren’t any better. When packing your child’s lunch for school, choose dental health-friendly options such as fruits and vegetables. Sure, it can’t beat a slice of their favorite cake, but it will certainly help them avoid serious dental conditions such as cavities and gum disease, a common condition amongst children.
Choose water over juices.
Your child’s favorite artificially colored fruit drinks are packed with sugar–and not the good kind. One juice pack alone can contain more sugar than what your child should consume in an entire day. These sugars chip away at your child’s tooth enamel over time. While it might be tempting to fill your child’s lunch box with one of these juices on a hectic first day back to school, think of the damage you’re imposing on your child’s dental care by choosing this unhealthy option. Water is always the best way to go, as it contains flouride which helps keep teeth shiny. Not sure what foods or drinks to pack in your child’s lunch box? Here’s a quick overview of what you should include (and stay away from).
If your child wears braces, be extra mindful.
Children who wear braces should be especially mindful of maintaining a healthy oral regimen. It’s easy for food particles to get caught in between metal wires, and skipping a morning brush can cause unwanted bacteria to harbor in the teeth. This leads to a build-up of plaque, a leading factor in tooth decay. Make sure your child understands the right way to brush when wearing braces, which includes flossing to tackle those pesky, unreachable corners of the mouth.
Keep your child’s teeth safe during sports
If your child participates in organized sports, wearing a mouthguard is crucial to preventing them from suffering serious oral facial injuries.Even the most minor blow to the mouth can cause damage to the root of the tooth and could snowball to a dental emergency if left untreated. Make sure you have a local emergency dentist on-hand to help treat your child’s dental condition if it happens to escalate.
Before diving back into your child’s routine, make sure they pay a visit to their dentist to make sure their oral health is in good shape. Starting a new year with potential dental issues will not only interrupt a daily routine, but leave your child in danger of suffering painful consequences if ignored. By following these back to school dental tips, you can rest assured that your child will start the new year safely and sporting a confident smile. Our dental office offers quality dental services to families in the Cooper City area. Contact us today at 954-252-1390 to schedule an appointment for your child.