Summer flew by again, and back to school prep is in full swing for the whole family. Everyone has a new backpack full of colorful notebooks and folders. Working out a routine of getting up early, grabbing breakfast, and making sure all homework was done the night before can take a little time. But don’t forget about prepping those sweet, little pearly whites for the new school year too.
Here are 11 dental tips on being back to school ready:
1 Book Regular Dental Check-ups
Usually schools and other activities such as camp and extra-curricular sports call for your child to have a physical prior to attending or playing. Even though dental check-ups are not required on the back to school checklist, add it into your family’s back to school. This will also get your child more comfortable with going to the dentist for teeth cleanings.
2 Stick to a Dental Routine
Most people, adults and children included, benefit from sticking to a routine. This goes for having a dental regimen as well. In the mornings, get your child out of bed and brushing their teeth before school. Do the same before bed. Don’t skip this step – make it a consistent, mandatory part of every day.
Brushing? Check. Flossing? Maybe. Make sure to add flossing into your child’s daily dental routine. Brushing can only reach so much surface area around a tooth, thus leaving plaque and food build up between teeth. Flossing gets into those hard to reach places.
4 Let Your Child Choose Their Toothbrush and Toothpaste
Often times, all your kid wants is a little freedom. Whether it be freedom to pick out their clothes or freedom to style their hair, allowing them the ability to choose or pick something for themselves gives them a sense of control and ownership. Same thing goes for their teeth.
Let them pick out which toothbrush color they want and the flavor of their toothpaste. Maybe the bubblegum flavored toothpaste or light up toothbrush will get them excited about consistent dental care.
5 Get Help from Big Bro or Sis
Does your youngest struggle with dental health? Bring in a happy helper. Big brother or sister can be a dental model for their siblings and influence good oral hygiene. Many young ones look up to their older siblings, so why not have them help and show how to properly brush and floss? Before school and before bed, siblings can brush their teeth together to make sure the dental routine is accomplished.
6 Pack Healthy Snacks
Being a parent is a job in itself, but when it comes to feeding your child, it makes a difference to feed them a well-balanced diet. If your kid likes any fruits or vegetables, pack them in their lunch at school! Of course grabbing a bag of chips and a fruit roll-up seems easier to pack, but think of their health and teeth! Grocery stores are making packing healthy kids lunches easier by carrying better lunchables and individual servings of veggies and fruits with dips and other snack packs.
Dealing with a really picky eater? No worries. If you like to cook, there are tons of ways to sneak veggies into muffins and pasta sauce, you name it. Check out free recipes online!
7 Encourage Drinking Water
We all know water is great for the body, but it is also great for your teeth. Kids often ask for juice, sports drinks, and treats like soda or chocolate milk. These tend to be full of sugar and can easily cause cavities or worse. Try to encourage the whole family to drink water regularly.
8 Provide a Toothbrush for at School Use
A great way to keep those teeth clean during the day is to send a toothbrush, mini toothpaste, and a flosser in your child’s lunchbox. Once lunch is done, they have that reminder to run to the bathroom and get all the food out of their teeth. Especially if they have braces or any other dental appliances, giving your child the tools to keep their teeth clean will help the success of those appliances. Plus, they make all sorts of cute travel size toothbrush holders and fun toothpaste flavors.
9 Reward Good Dental Habits
Make it easy for your child to love brushing their teeth. Create a reward system or incentives to brushing and flossing consistently every day. Maybe promise them a new cool toothbrush!
10 Talk About Why Oral Hygiene is Important
While you don’t want to scare your child into good dental habits, it is important to discuss why teeth and mouths need to be taken care of. Discuss why brushing and flossing are important, as well as how to prevent cavities and other dental issues.
11 Get a Mouth Guard
While this doesn’t apply to all children, if your child is in any sports or contact activities, ask your dentist about mouth guards. Some sports, like hockey and football, require kids to use mouth guards, but others don’t. Consider protecting their teeth and your piece of mind.
Taking these back to school tips into account could save your child pain and tears from cavities or other teeth issues. It could also save you money from expensive emergency dental bills. Remember, get your kids excited about healthy teeth!
Need to make that back to school dental appointment? Start the school year off right and visit us at Jefferson Dental! Book an appointment easily online today at one of our 65 locations.