Dental Care Guide: Back-to-School Edition
It’s that time of year again! Back to school means back to busy schedules, which means it’s easy to lose track of things like dental check-ups and packing healthy snacks for the kids. But we get it! Back to school is stressful enough, so let us help you take a little off your plate with this back-to-school dental care guide to make sure your child has a picture-perfect smile.
Back to School Dental Check-Up
Getting your teeth cleaned and a dental check-up every six months is important for your child’s oral health routine. Children are constantly growing and changing, and that includes their mouth as well.
Maybe they might benefit from orthodontic treatment, or perhaps they have developed signs of a cavity. When your child goes and sees the dentist regularly, they can check and monitor any issues early on to prevent bigger issues down the line. Plus, you want your kids to have a clean, beautiful smile for school picture day!
Back to School with Braces
A lot of kids head back to school with new gear, but what if your child is going back to school with braces? Oral care looks different for those with braces, especially when you are first starting out with them. Here is how you can help your child who is going back to school with braces:
- Make a plan for how your child can find time to brush their teeth after they eat lunch.
- Create a braces kit for them to take to school. Include a travel toothbrush, floss, toothpaste, and dental wax.
- Plan for any emergencies so your child knows where to go and who to call if an emergency occurs.
- If they are allowed, have your child carry a water bottle with them throughout the day to ensure they are staying hydrated and can rinse away any debris and bacteria building up.
It’s also important to express to your child the importance of healthy eating habits. Remind them what they should avoid eating with braces and be sure to pack them braces-friendly snacks.
The Best Dental Tips for a Successful Back to School Experience
Children of all ages face their own challenges when going back to school, and it often disrupts their morning and/or night routine when you usually handle oral care. Try out some of these tips and tricks to make your child’s transition a little easier without having to compromise their oral health!
- Make time for their dental routine. Build in their morning brush into your daily prep and do the same for bedtime. Also don’t forget to have them floss! Consistency is key for kids of all ages, and it can be comforting for those who struggle with new school routines.
- Let your child choose their toothbrush and toothpaste. It doesn’t matter how old they get, having some autonomy over even the smallest aspects in life can mean so much to them.
- Encourage them to drink lots of water and to stay away from sugary drinks.
- Have their older siblings help them with their dental routine! Big brothers and sisters can set the example for how to have good oral hygiene.
- Reward your child for good oral habits, especially younger children that need positive reinforcement.
- If your child plays sports, invest in a mouth guard for protection.
Remember that talking about oral health is super important. When you openly discuss with your child why they need to brush, floss, and eat snacks that are good for their teeth, you’re helping them understand why it’s important.
Snacks for Healthy Teeth
Lunchtime at school not only is one of the most social times of your child’s day, but it is also a critical time to provide your child with healthy foods to keep them going for the rest of the day. Even if you don’t pack your kids’ lunch anymore, its still important to have healthy snacks on hand.
Healthy Snacks for Elementary Kids
Elementary aged kids are growing fast and need nutrients to support strong teeth and healthy gums. Try not to give them gummy treats or flavored juice packs. Switch them out for things like milk, cheese, and tropical fruits.
Healthy Snacks for Middle Schoolers and Teens
Lunchtime in middle school is more like social time. It’s smart to have a collection of healthy snacks that not only are good for your kids’ teeth, but also is easy and not messy to eat. They will be more willing to eat if the food they’re eating doesn’t embarrass them or take away from their social hour.
The best snacks for teeth are cucumbers, carrots, and celery. You can pair them with a dip or marinate them in an herb overnight. These snack options are even shareable, which will not only help their teeth but their social life too, a win-win!
We hope that this dental guide helps take away some of your added back to school stress. Arming your child with everything they need to know about oral health is important in preparing them for the future.
If you haven’t scheduled your back-to-school dental checkup, that’s okay! There’s still time to book an appointment today. Just call us at (215) 372-8332