Back to School Dental Checklist
It’s that time again. Days are a bit shorter and the school supply aisles are stocked and ready to go. Before you pack your child’s backpack and send them off to their first day of school, make sure to remember to add a dental check-up to your back-to-school list.
Keep in mind that American Dental Association recommends children receive two dental visits per year to ensure good gum and tooth health. Getting into the habit of making one of those visits part of your back-to-school routine will set your child up for a more productive school year since this important appointment can catch and resolve any problems without the risk of missed classroom time. Our staff at Anderson and Atkins ensures not only that your child has a thorough dental cleaning and assessment, but we also aim to educate parents and children on good oral hygiene and establish the basis for a lifetime of good dental health.
At every stage in your child’s life, there are ways parents can help ensure children have the basis for a cavity-free exam. For younger children who may not have the fine motor skills to do a thorough job brushing, let children start on their own and jump in to help brush and floss when needed. Positive encouragement will make home care a fun task and ensure regular dental visits go without a hitch. For the slightly older child through the pre-teen years, their enthusiasm for dental care may wane, but it is important to keep up the encouragement and education on good dental hygiene. By the time your child is a teenager, there will be another push needed by parents to ensure good oral care is a part of the daily routine. At this age, most children have had cavity-free exams for years and they tend to not fully understand the consequences of a decrease in attention spent on their teeth. But, statistics show that dental habits from this important time in a child’s development tend to determine the health factor of their young adult mouth. So parents, keep up the encouragement despite the teenage eye rolling and make sure brushing and flossing are as important as showering and self-care. Your child’s mouth will thank you later in life.
Once their dental check-up is complete and the school year begins, parents can continue keeping their child’s teeth healthy with a few easy steps:
- Pack healthy snacks and lunches for school. Calcium-rich snacks like milk, cheese, and yogurt are both low in sugar are a great source of protein and help strengthen teeth. Fruit and veggies are a great source of water and fiber which helps keep teeth clean and promotes saliva production to wash acids and particles away from teeth and gums, keeping them healthy and strong. Lean proteins help strengthen teeth and add valuable protein for good oral health.
- Pack a water bottle. Juice boxes, sports drinks, and sodas add a significant amount of unwanted sugars into the mouth which can encourage cavities and gum disease. So, skip the sugary drinks and give your child what their body and teeth need.
- Pack a toothbrush. Especially for older children, a travel toothbrush, floss, and toothpaste make a great addition to their backpack.
- Make oral hygiene a part of the daily routine. Twice a day, remind (and assist) children to brush their teeth for at least two minutes. While flossing is recommended once daily, most dentists recommend flossing before bed to remove any debris from between the teeth to reduce the formation of cavities. But anytime children express the sensation of something stuck between their teeth throughout the day is another great opportunity to recommend an additional flossing session.
Make a prefect smile a part of your child’s back to school wardrobe. To schedule your child’s back-to-school appointment, call Anderson and Atkins today at (979) 846-1813. For more information, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.