It’s almost that time again: the hectic, busy time of year when kids head back to school.
With everything else that’s going on, it can be easy to forget that your kids’ dental health is just as important to their overall success as the time they spend hitting the books. According to the Center for Disease Control, “tooth decay (cavities) is one of the most common chronic conditions of childhood in the United States,” and about one in five kids between the ages of 5 and 11 have at least one untreated cavity. Dental issues can lead to many problems such as difficulty chewing and speaking, not to mention all the time they’ll miss from school for treatments. The good news is that there are lots of things you can do to set your kids up for dental success.
Here are 5 back to school tips from Dr. Eye and Exceptional Smiles Family Dentistry to keep your kids smiling all year long.
Start Good Habits Early
The sooner you instill good oral hygiene habits in your children, the better they’ll follow them later in life. Make sure your kids are brushing in the morning before school and at night before bed. Teach them to rinse their mouths out after meals, especially when they eat sweets.
Put An Extra Toothbrush In Their Backpacks
When you’re shopping for back to school supplies, be sure there’s an extra toothbrush in your cart, too. Put a brush and a travel size tube of toothpaste in your kids’ backpacks and encourage them to brush after lunch at school.
Pack Healthy Lunches and Snacks
When you pack lunches and snacks for your kids, try to keep them as healthy as possible. Avoid too many sweets and pack teeth-friendly snacks like apples, carrots, cheese and strawberries. And don’t forget that drinks are important, too. Sugary beverages are just as bad as candy, so send them to school with a bottle of water rather than soda or chocolate milk. If they’ll be eating school cafeteria lunches, talk to your kids about making healthy choices.
Get A Mouthguard For Sports
If your child is a budding athlete, make sure you get them a properly fitted mouthguard to wear while playing sports. According to studies done by Delta Dental, “young athletes who wear mouthguards suffer significantly fewer mouth injuries than those who don’t.” A mouthguard is required for sports like football and hockey, but it’s recommended that kids wear them when playing soccer, basketball, and any other sport where a contact injury is possible.
Keep Up With Dental Visits
The most important factor in maintaining your kids’ dental health is keeping up with regular checkups. A dentist can see potential problems before they develop and stop them from becoming worse. They can also recommend preventative measures such as fluoride treatments or sealants to avoid cavities later.
Check out our website or call our office at (540) 434-5500 today to schedule an appointment before your kids go back to school!