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Back-to-School Oral Health Checklist

August 4, 2021.TruAssure.0 Likes.0 Comments

Back-to-School Oral Health Checklist

It’s almost the start of a new school year and while new clothes and school supplies are top of mind, don’t forget about your kids’ oral health! Add these dental tips to your back-to-school checklist and start the school year off with a healthy smile.

1. Schedule a Dental Visit

Preventive appointments that check for oral health risk factors should be a part of every child’s back-to-school routine. Having a healthy smile can help improve kids’ concentration and performance in the classroom and may help reduce school absences. In some states, dental exams are required before the start of the school year.

2. Make Brushing and Flossing Fun

Just like eating breakfast, brushing and flossing are an essential part of your child’s morning routine. Help them understand its importance by making the experience enjoyable with these simple tips:

  • Turn on their favorite music to keep them engaged.
  • Keep a daily calendar to let your kids track their morning and evening oral health routines.
  • Let your kids pick out a themed toothbrush in their favorite color and toothpaste and floss in tasty flavors. (Just make sure it’s cavity-fighting fluoride toothpaste.)
  • Encourage healthy habits with a small reward, such as stickers or extra TV time.

3. Practice Safety with Mouth Guards

If your kids are in sports, it’s a good idea to have mouth guards on hand. A proper fitting mouth guard can save their smile from broken teeth and injuries to their lips, tongue, face or jaw. The American Dental Association recommends mouth guards for a wide variety of sports,1 including some that may surprise you, such as:

  • Gymnastics
  • Racquetball
  • Bicycling
  • Volleyball
  • Skateboarding

4. Encourage Healthy Hydration

Water is the best beverage for your child’s oral health. It’s called “nature’s cavity fighter” for a reason! Drinking H20 helps wash away leftover food and bacteria that can cause tooth decay. Beverages like sports drinks, soda and juice contain more sugar than you may realize. Harmful bacteria can feed off the sugars your child consumes and cause damage to their teeth.

5. Pack a Nutritious Lunch

Swap out lunchbox no-no’s with smile-friendly alternatives. Salty snacks may seem healthy because they are low in sugar, but simple starches can be just as harmful. Instead of chips or crackers, try sunflower seeds or almonds. Other savory snacks include hard-boiled eggs and chunks of cheddar cheese.

In addition, avoid sticky foods such as granola bars and choose crunchy foods like celery sticks, baby carrots and snap peas – all rich in vitamins and minerals.

And while fruit snacks are popular among kids, they’re not loved by dentists. These sugary snacks stick to teeth and may cause decay. Go for the real deal instead, such as bananas, apples and grapes.

Following these tips can help prep your child for success, both in the classroom and the dentist chair.

 

1 https://www.ada.org/en/member-center/oral-health-topics/mouthguards

 

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