It’s that time of year that has parents and kids going through a flurry of emotions. Back to school is fraught with anxiety and excitement for everyone, and it’s easy to lose track of some things, like dental check-ups and packing healthy snacks.
We get it. Back to school is stressful enough, so let us take a little off your plate. Step back, take a deep breath, and use this back to school dental care guide to make sure your child’s smile is picture-perfect.
Back to School Dental Check Up
Getting dental check-ups and teeth cleanings every six months is an important part of your child’s oral health routine. Think about how much your kiddo has grown and changed since school let out in the spring! Their mouths changed as well.
Maybe they would benefit from orthodontic treatment, or perhaps they developed early signs of a cavity. When your dentist sees your child regularly they can identify issues early to prevent bigger problems down the line. Plus, won’t it be nice to have a sparkling smile for school pictures?
Back to School with Braces
Many kids head back to school with new gear, but what if your child is going back with braces? As anybody with braces can tell you, oral care is different, especially when you first get started.
- Make a plan for how your child can find time to brush after lunch.
- Build a braces kit for school that includes a travel toothbrush, floss, toothpaste, and dental wax.
- Plan for emergencies so that your child knows where to go and who to call.
- If possible, have your child carry a water bottle to ensure they keep hydrated and rinse away debris and bacteria throughout the day.
It’s also important to discuss healthy eating habits with your child. Remind them what to avoid with their braces and be sure to pack braces-friendly snacks for good teeth!
Back to School Dental Care Tips and Teeth Friendly Snacks
Do you feel ready for back to school? Maybe these tips, tricks, and tooth friendly snacks will help you and your child feel better about heading back.
Top Dental Tips for a Successful Back to School Experience
Children of different ages face unique challenges with back to school, and it often disrupts those morning and night routines when you usually handle oral care. Try out some of these tricks to make those transitions a little easier without compromising your child’s oral health!
- Make time for that dental routine. Build a morning brush into your daily prep and do the same for bedtime. Don’t forget to floss! Consistency is helpful for kids of all ages, and it can be comforting for those struggling with new school schedules.
- Let your child choose their toothbrush and toothpaste. It doesn’t matter how old your kiddo gets, having some autonomy over even the smallest aspects of life can mean everything to them.
- Encourage drinking lots of water and avoid those sugary drinks.
- Have older siblings help. Big brothers and sisters can set examples for good oral hygiene, and take a load off you.
- Reward good oral habits, especially for younger children who need positive reinforcement.
- If your child plays sports, invest in a mouth guard for extra protection.
Remember, talking about oral health is important. When you openly discuss the reasons for brushing, flossing, and eating snacks that are good for teeth, you help your child understand why it’s important.
Snacks for Healthy Teeth
Lunchtime at school is one of the most social times of day, and also a critical point for providing your child with healthy foods to keep them going. Even if you don’t pack your child’s lunch anymore, it’s important to have healthy snacks on hand to encourage them to eat well.
Healthy Snack Suggestions for Elementary Kids
It’s tempting to toss in some gummy treats and flavored juice packs, but your child’s teeth could suffer. Elementary-aged kids are growing fast and need nutrients to support strong teeth and healthy gums.
Try swapping out the sugary foods and drinks for some snacks that are good for your teeth, like milk, cheese, and tropical fruits. Mangos and kiwi taste sweet but pack a lot of valuable vitamins.
Middle School and Teenage Treats
It’s about middle school that lunch becomes more about socialization than food, so it’s in your best interest to provide a collection of healthy snacks for your kid’s teeth. If they can munch on things that don’t embarrass them or detract from their social hour, they’re more apt to eat.
The best snacks for teeth are cucumbers, carrots, and celery. You can pair them with a dip or marinate them in an herb mixture overnight. Even better, those snacks are shareable which could help your kid’s teeth and their social life!
Final Thoughts on Back to School Dental Care
Phew! We can’t help with those supply lists or finding the perfect picture outfit, but hopefully, this guide takes away some back to school stress. Arming your child with everything they need to know about oral health is one step in preparing them for the future. In short, support a solid oral care routine and have plenty of tooth-friendly snacks on hand.
If you haven’t scheduled your back to school dental check up, that’s okay! There’s still time to book an appointment to get your kids’ teeth sparkling for a boost of confidence as they head back to class.