School is just around the corner, and while you may be busy gathering school supplies or shopping for new back-to-school clothes, it’s also important to schedule that next teeth cleaning.
According to the CDC, cavities are one of the most common chronic diseases of childhood in the US, with about 20 percent of children ages 5-11 with at least one untreated decayed tooth.
The American Dental Association emphasizes that a dental exam is a vital part of your child’s healthy start to the school year. Weaver, Reckner, and Reinhart Dental Associates recommends routine hygiene visits every six months. In addition to visiting the dentist regularly, there are steps parents can take at home to ensure a healthy mouth.
HEALTHY EATING HABITS
Since your child will be spending their day at school with snacks and lunch, start preparing ideas of some healthy choices for their lunchbox. Spend time with your child leading up to the first day of school and come up with some nutritional snacks they will enjoy. Allowing them to help pack their own lunch is a great way to encourage healthy eating by choosing a balanced selection of snacks. Foods high in calcium, such as cheese, milk, and yogurt, help keep teeth healthy and strong. Avoiding sugary snacks and drinks is also an easy way to help limit decay.
BRUSHING AND FLOSSING – KEEP IT FUN!
Regular brushing and flossing should continue despite those early morning wake times. It’s easy to let things slip when rushing to catch that bus, but brushing and flossing help to remove the bacteria that will adhere to the teeth, eventually breaking down the enamel and causing decay. Brushing twice a day, morning and night is key to keeping the plaque away.
If you’re having difficulty getting a child to keep up with their routine:
- Allow them to pick out their own toothbrush or special toothpaste.
- Flossing can be fun too, with the many different types of child flossers that are available.
- Develop a reward system to encourage better brushing habits.
- Use a timer to keep them on track for a two-minute brushing routine.
Brushing teeth doesn’t have to become a chore, especially for the little ones. Consistency is key, and keeping it fun while teaching the basics can go a long way to a healthy oral hygiene routine.
Perhaps one of the most stressful things for a young child or teenager is heading back to school with braces.
- Remind them of the healthy and safe choices that they should be making for their lunches.
- Be sure to pack braces-friendly snacks to get them through the day without any orthodontic emergencies.
- Pack a travel toothbrush so they can quickly brush their teeth after a meal.
- Encourage drinking water throughout the day, which helps to wash away any bacteria and debris.
No matter what age your child is, back-to-school season can be filled with excitement, anxiety, and hectic schedules! Weaver, Reckner, and Reinhart Dental Associates recognizes our patients’ busy lives and offers convenient early morning and evening appointments. As one of the leading dentists in Harleysville and Souderton, we offer services from routine cleanings and dental implants to orthodontics and cosmetic dentistry.
For more information about our practice in Montgomery County or Bucks County, visit our website or contact us at 215-486-1649/215-486-1652.