Preparing for a Successful School Year with Healthy Smiles
Your children are back in school, and you’re now amidst the hustle and bustle of arranging schedules, checking their homework, and all the other duties that come with parenting. It’s important not to overlook their dental health. A vibrant smile boosts confidence and contributes to their overall well-being. Orem Pediatric Dental would like to share essential back-to-school dental tips to ensure your child starts the school year with a beaming grin and maintains it throughout their academic journey.
#1 Back-to-School Dental Tip: Schedule Your Child’s Dental Checkup
Untreated cavities can cause pain and infections, and even impact essential activities like eating, speaking, playing, and learning. According to the CDC, cavities are the most common chronic childhood disease in the United States. Shockingly, statistics reveal that over half of children aged 6 to 8 have had cavities in their baby teeth, and a similar percentage holds for adolescents aged 12 to 19 with cavities in their permanent teeth.
So, kick off the school year on the right note by scheduling a dental checkup for your child. A professional cleaning and examination can catch potential issues early, preventing them from becoming more significant. Moreover, a clean and healthy mouth promotes improved concentration and focus in the classroom.
2. Establish a Morning Oral Hygiene Routine
School mornings can be a whirlwind, but making time for oral hygiene is crucial. Please encourage your child to brush their teeth using fluoride toothpaste for at least two minutes before heading to school. Incorporating this into their morning routine of washing their face, brushing their hair, and getting dressed sets a positive pattern. Consistency is key. And remember the nighttime brushing routine as well!
3. Pack Smart and Healthy Lunches
For kids who bring lunch to school, it’s an opportunity to provide a wholesome meal. When preparing school lunches, opt for teeth-friendly options. Include crisp fruits like apples and carrots that act as natural cleaners for teeth while being chewed. Avoid sugary snacks and beverages that can contribute to cavities. Instead, offer sugar-free flavored water to keep your child hydrated and minimize the impact of sugars on their teeth.
4. Moderate Sugary Snacking
After-school hunger is common, but try to limit sugary snacks. If your child does indulge occasionally, encourage them to brush their teeth afterward or at least rinse their mouth with water to mitigate the effects of sugar on their teeth.
5. Choose the Right Backpack
Surprisingly, the choice of backpack can affect dental health. Heavy backpacks can strain neck and shoulder muscles, potentially leading to poor posture. Proper posture is essential for jaw alignment and can prevent jaw pain and dental issues. Ensure your child wears their backpack correctly and consider one with padded shoulder straps.
6. Safeguard Your Child’s Teeth During Sports with a Mouthguard
If your child participates in sports, especially contact sports like football, soccer, baseball, or wrestling, ensure they wear a mouthguard. A well-fitting mouthguard can shield teeth from impacts and prevent dental injuries.
7. Promote Hydration
Staying hydrated by drinking water throughout the day is beneficial for overall health and oral hygiene. Water helps wash away food particles and bacteria that can lead to cavities and bad breath.
8. Be Aware of Teeth Grinding
The stress of school can sometimes lead to teeth grinding, known as bruxism. If you notice signs like headaches, jaw pain, or worn-down teeth in your child, schedule a consultation with us. We may recommend a nightguard to protect their teeth.
9. Lead by Example
Children learn best through imitation. You’re setting a positive example for them to follow by demonstrating good oral hygiene habits. Consider brushing and flossing together as a family to make oral care a shared and enjoyable experience.
10. Be Consistent
As the school year unfolds, maintain a solid oral care routine despite busy schedules. Consistency is key to ensuring your child’s dental health remains a priority all year round.
A healthy smile contributes to a productive school year. Following these back-to-school dental guidelines from Orem Pediatric Dental equips your child with the tools they need to uphold excellent oral hygiene, enhance focus in school, and embrace the upcoming year with a radiant smile. Remember, a little investment now can lead to a lifetime of confident smiles and overall well-being. Don’t hesitate to contact us to schedule your child’s next dental checkup.
We wish parents and children a fantastic school year ahead!
Your Caring Team at Orem Pediatric Dental