What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of “August”? For many individuals, August is a time where they wrap up their summer fun, and for parents, it’s also a time to prepare their children for going back to school. Dental tips for back to school might help you avoid unnecessary dental emergencies.
When checking off items on your child’s back-to-school “to-do” list, it’s essential to not overlook their dental needs. Just like getting all of their school supplies is a priority, so should establishing healthy dental habits early on for a successful school year ahead.
With this in mind, we’ve provided you with a few of our standout dental tips for back to school so your child has the healthiest smile once the first day of school comes!
Book regular dental check-ups
We know, we know – your child most likely doesn’t like dental visits, but that shouldn’t stop them from making regular visits. The reality of dental health is that if you don’t take care of your smile, pre-existing issues only get worse. The earlier on you can make this a habit, the easier it will be to get your child to attend their dental check-up.
Establish a regular dental routine and stick to it
As your child’s parent, you set the example that they follow. If you are sticking to your dental routine on a consistent basis, once at night and once in the morning, both brushing and flossing, twice a day, then your child will take notice and will likely do the same. The key to establishing a regular dental routine is never skipping a brushing and flossing session! Ultimately, with enough discipline, your child will cultivate a dental routine that they’ll learn to appreciate as they get older.
Let your child in on the dental fun
Letting your child in on the dental fun means letting them select their toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste of choice! With so many designs, colors, and tastes, your child will certainly get a kick out of selecting their very own toothbrush and toothpaste. Not to mention, they’ll get a sense of control and ownership that will help them ease into their dental routine. Remember: the process can be fun if you get creative! Another simple and enjoyable dental tips for back to school days.
Give your child healthy snacks
Being a parent-advocate for your child’s healthy smile also means that you provide your child with healthy snacks instead of sugary snacks. Unfortunately, sugar snacks and candy tend to destroy the tooth surface and beyond. Establishing healthy food choices earlier on also makes it easier to stick to healthy food choices as your child grows up.
Encourage drinking water
Just like you’d encourage your child to go towards the healthier choice of snack, you should also encourage them to select drinking water over soda or colored fruit juices. Sodas and colored fruit juices also contain high amounts of sugar that destroy the enamel of the teeth. If you don’t want cavities and you also believe in your child living a healthy lifestyle, then water is the way to go!
Provide a toothbrush for them to use at school
Brushing your teeth at school isn’t out of the norm. In fact, it’s the cool thing to do when it comes to having a healthy smile! With a travel-sized dental set, you can easily pack this into your child’s backpack with their other school supplies to encourage upkeeping with their dental routine throughout the day.
Reward good dental habits
If there’s one thing that kids love, it’s rewards! Sit down with your child and discuss a new reward system for them to engage with. For instance, if your child brushes and flosses their teeth three times a day, once in the morning, once at school, and once at night – then they’ll be rewarded with something of your choosing. This not only is a great way to get your child in the rhythm of brushing and flossing on a consistent basis, but it makes the activity something they look forward to.
Have the oral hygiene discussion
Eventually, you’ll have to sit down with your child and discuss with them just why you’re so encouraging of brushing and flossing and visiting the dentist for regular visits. This is a great opportunity to tell your child about the importance of oral hygiene. You can share the positives like what a healthy, bright white smile is and the negatives, like what happens to your teeth when severe dental issues appear. Educating your child is key. Giving dental tips for back to school will give you an ease of mind.
Make an appointment for a back to school cleaning
North Pointe Dental Associates works with children 12 years of age or older. If you are looking to get your child’s teeth prepared for their first day of school, simply give us a call to make an appointment. We look forward to seeing you both!