Families throughout Richmond and Chester are excitedly preparing to get back to school every day! While this new school year provides a great break for parents, it is important to make sure that back-to-school doesn’t result a break for your children’s teeth. Contrary to what many think, keeping your child’s mouth healthy and clean is just as important as many of the other medical examinations that they undergo in the beginning of the school year. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry states that getting a dental examination is just as important for a child’s health as receiving the proper booster shots and immunizations prior to the school year. In the United States, tooth decay is currently the largest contributor of infectious disease in children today. Further, it’s estimated that 51 million school hours are missed per year because of children’s dental problems.
Beyond the importance of keeping the child’s oral health in excellent shape, it is important to understand how significant the effects of improper dental care can be. For instance, a child with tooth decay will have trouble eating and drinking normally, in addition to discomfort while playing, reading a book, studying, and sometimes even sleeping. Therefore, it is imperative that parents keep an eye on their child’s dental habits, instilling a fun, regular routine that kids will enjoy. Brushing and flossing should not be viewed as a chore, but rather a fun morning and evening activity that they find entertaining.
Following these back-to-school dental tips will go far in boosting your child’s overall health:
- Pack nutritious food- make sure your children start their day with a low sugar breakfast and are eating healthy lunches and snacks at school
- Regular dental checkups every 3-6 months are vital, so be sure to schedule these examinations for tooth decay prevention
- Brush with fluoride toothpaste and floss regularly, this means brushing at least twice a day for two minutes each time – try make purchasing a new toothbrush a fun activity while buying school supplies
- Change your child’s toothbrush regularly, we suggest each time a new report card comes out, this way the child is rewarded for good grades with a nice, new toothbrush featuring their favorite character or color or perhaps an electronic or singing toothbrush
- During sports activities, make sure your child is wearing a mouth guard that is fitted properly
So as your family completes back-to-school forms, purchases school supplies, and finds those perfect pair of school shoes, please remember to schedule your child’s back-to-school dental exam with Just 4 Kids Pediatric Dentistry and Sedation.