FIVE Back to School Smile Tips: How to Earn an A+ in Dental Health!

It's that time of year again... parents everywhere rejoice!

While the back-to-school time of year can be very exciting, it is also hectic, making it easy for parents and children to forget everyday habits like dental care. 

In the midst of school supply shopping, soccer practice, and packing lunches, the team at Familia Dental reminds families across the nation of some tips that will do wonders for kids' dental health. 

Five back-to-school health tips

5 ways to prepare for school pictures and get an A+ smile:

1. Book a back to school dental check-up

Children and adults alike should see their dentist twice a year for a cleaning and exam. They should get X-Rays once every year. Getting a check-up before or at the beginning of the school year is a great way to maintain dental health because:

a. you know that you won't be at the dentist office around the holidays and

b. it's easy to remember that your next appointment will fall around Spring Break time. 

Additionally, most states require children to have "Proof of Dental" supplied to the schools by October. Recently, some states like Illinois have made it a requirement to get a dental check-up BEFORE the school year begins.

Did you forget about your child's dental check-ups? You can book same day or next day appointments with Familia Dental! call us 888-988-4066. 

2. Replace everyone's toothbrush

Toothbrushes should be replaced every 3 months, to avoid spreading germs and to assure that brushing is done with a toothbrush that is not worn out. If the bristles are becoming worn and falling out then it is time.  Remember this little rhyme for toothbrush care: "Beginning to fray? Throw it away!"

Think about the last time you and your family bought new toothbrushes... was it before summer vacation began? Then, it is probably time to replace your brush!

toothbrush rhyme

3. Pack a travel size toothbrush and paste in the backpacks

The ADA recommends that children and adults brush twice per day and loss at least once to maintain oral health. It is also a good idea to send children to school with a travel-size brush and toothpaste for them to use after lunch.

Even if they brush before school and before bed, lunch food can get sit on or stuck in teeth, causing acidity, decay and bad breath. And, even if children can't brush their teeth every day at school, giving them the tools will help them remember oral health as part of their daily routine. 

4. Pack healthy, tooth-friendly lunches

Pack lunches for children that are filled with fruit, veggies, dairy and other snacks that have minimal added sugar. That means limit the white bread, candy,  and cookies that are consumed at school everyday. 

There are many benefits to packing school lunches with minimal added sugar:

  • It helps children develop a taste for healthy foods
  • Improves tooth health
  • Decreases the chance for obesity and other chronic health problems
  • Curbs hunger, and avoids the crash that happens mid-afternoon
  • Improves school AND sports performance

Does your child get lunch provided by the school everyday? In this case, advocate for your children. Encourage the school and your child to choose water or milk as beverage options. Encourage and petition the school to provide healthier food options, such as veggies on the side and fruit or jello for dessert. Replacing the french fries and snack cakes can go a long way in improving overall health!

Check out our Diet and Oral Health | 5 Easy Ways to Cut Sugar | Best and Worst Foods articles for other easy-to-follow tips. 
healthy food for teeth

5. Buy mouth guards

Speaking of sports performance, it's that time of year when soccer, football, and other contact sports begin their seasons. Familia Dental recommends that any person playing a contact sport wear a mouth-guard, at practice and during competition. Mouth guards protect teeth and face from injury.

The cost of a mouth guard, be it custom fitted or over the counter, is mere pennies on the dollar compared with the cost of dental care for a knocked out or broken tooth. Mouth guards also decrease the risk of other tragedies such as concussions and facial or jaw fractures.

If you pay attention to small details, like the items above, then you and your family's dental health will be free of major problems. This advice can help anyone who wants to live a healthier life style and wear a winning smile!


Sources:

Midwest Pediatric Dentistry

CDHP

 

Familia Dental is a team comprised of certified dentists and orthodontists who specialize in providing affordable and high-quality care to children and adults.

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