Did you know, according to the American Dental Association (ADA), your child’s routine dental checkup is as vital to their health as getting a booster shot? Or that cavities from tooth decay are one of the most common chronic diseases of childhood in the U.S.? If your child has untreated cavities, they may be afflicted with pain and infections that can make eating, speaking, playing, and learning problematic. That’s why your child’s dental checkups need to be part of their back-to-school preparation, just like haircuts, new clothes, and school supplies.
Keeping your child’s smile healthy isn’t just for better school pictures! If your child’s smile has untreated dental problems, this can easily lead to missing school and experiencing problems socializing with their peers. Making sure your child’s smile is healthy increases their overall happiness and potential success in the school year yet to come.
Pediatric Dental Problems
Your child’s growing smile is vulnerable to poor tooth development and other dental problems that can spell trouble for them later, including:
- Canker sores
- Chronic bad breath
- Sensitive teeth and gums
- Teeth grinding
- Tooth decay
- Tooth loss
Help Your Child Have a Healthier School Year
You can help your child have a more successful school year with the following tips:
- Along with a wardrobe update, start their new school year off with a thorough dental cleaning!
- While stocking up on school supplies, get them a brand new toothbrush and dental floss they will want to use.
- When packing their lunch or backpack, make sure they have a water bottle instead of sugary juices and sports drinks to keep them hydrated and their mouth healthy.
- Provide tooth-friendly snacks they can enjoy, including raw veggies and their favorite cheeses.
- Make sure they brush before school and at the end of the day.
- Find ways to make dental care fun using charts, calendars, stickers and music to keep them motivated.
- Make sure their smile is ready for playing contact sports by getting them a mouthguard to wear during these high-impact activities.
Age Appropriate Oral Hygiene Care
Help your child learn good oral hygiene skills by encouraging them to brush two times a day for two minutes and floss at least once daily.
Children Six Years and Under: Your child is still developing the fine motor skills needed to properly clean their teeth (especially if their molars are coming in) so take the time to help them until they can do it well all by themselves.
Children Seven to Twelve: While your child can now maneuver a toothbrush and dental floss dexterously, they aren’t always motivated. You want them to know how to practice good oral hygiene care and be held accountable if they neglect their dental care. A lifetime of good habits starts early!
Children Twelve to Eighteen: If your child’s teen and early adulthood years remain cavity-free, they might not be as concerned about dental decay and slowly slacken their hygiene habits. Make sure they still have the tools they need (toothbrushes, toothpaste, dental floss of choice and mouthwash) to encourage them to stay on top of their daily oral hygiene care. You can even sweeten the deal by offering them a reward for having cavity-free checkups!
Dental Contact Information
When getting your child ready for the new school year, be sure to give their teachers and coaches medical/dental contact information in the event of a dental emergency. You can also keep our dentist’s business card in their backpack, wallet, and school files in case an accident or injury arises so they can be treated as swiftly as possible. For example, a knocked-out tooth needs to be quickly addressed to be saved.
With the first day of school only weeks away, many parents are getting their children’s back-to-school dental cleaning and exam done and out of the way. If you haven’t already, it’s not too late to get them scheduled before the school year is fully underway with its hectic busyness! Help your child start the new school year with a back-to-school dental cleaning and exam, good oral hygiene habits, and all the hygiene tools they need! Call today!