The Key to a Successful School Year Is A Healthy Smile
July 30, 2019
Summer break is nearing the end, and school will soon be back in session. Busy school schedules have kicked back in, and free time is saved for the weekends. Between after-school activities and homework, dental hygiene can be an easy task for your kids to neglect during the school year. They might not realize it, but the consequences of poor oral health management can be serious. For the perfect school picture and optimal dental health, follow these four tips to keep your child’s smile healthy during the school year!
1. Regular Dentist Checkups
Even if you brush and floss every day, it is still necessary to visit your dentist. Going to the dentist can be expensive, but not going at all could end up costing you more money. Children of all ages should see their dentist twice a year to ensure that their mouth and teeth are clean and checked for potential problems. Not meeting with a dentist increases your child’s risk of having an oral infection or other issues that are easily treated if detected early. Minor problems can turn into major problems when untreated and result in big dentist bills and missed days of school. Preventative dental care is an investment in not only a healthy mouth, but also a healthy child. Schedule an appointment with your dentist today!
2. Healthy Lunch = Healthy Mouth
After a morning full of learning, it is time to head to the cafeteria. A healthy lunch will give your child the brainpower he needs to last the rest of the school day. It is also no secret that the food your child eats has an impact on his/her teeth. However, the foods children prefer are often not the most healthy. Improving your child’s lunch menu does not have to be a pain. Try switching out juices and sodas for water or milk. Juices and soft drinks have tons of unnecessary calories and a copious amount of sugar that can lead to tooth decay. Drinks are a quick and effective way to make positive changes. As for food, choose a variety of colorful, natural options. Avoid processed foods with added sugar. And to keep things interesting for your child, change the menu often with selections of seasonal fruits and vegetables.
Foods that your child and their mouth will enjoy:
- Fresh fruits and vegetables
- String cheese
- Whole grain bread
While brushing is recommended after every meal, most children do not have the opportunity to brush after lunch during the school year. Don’t worry. There are ways to clean teeth when toothbrushes are not available. Crunchy fruits and vegetables like carrots and apples serve as natural teeth cleaners. Visiting the water fountain during the school day is another way to keep teeth clean when brushing is not an option.
3. Random Chewing = Damaged Teeth
Every child goes through a teething phase, but not all grow out of. Children are often known to chew on pencils, erasers, shirt collars, and much more during their adolescent years. Chewing on anything other than food can be extremely damaging to your teeth. One way to kick the chewing habit is sugar-free gum! Sugar-free gum is good for your mouth and is a lot softer on teeth than pencils. During the school day when gum may not be allowed, encourage your child to become more aware of chewing habits and replace them with actions like drawing. A rubber band on the wrist can also help to break the habit of chewing. Whenever your child notices himself chewing on anything other than food, encourage him to pop the rubber band.
4. Mouth Guards For School Sports
This one might feel like a given, but make sure your child has a mouth guard if she is playing sports. A mouth guard will protect teeth from all the activity that comes with sports. Engaging in physical activity without a mouthguard can result in permanent tooth damage and several other oral complications. Next time you go to the dentist, take your child’s mouthguard with you and have your dentist examine it. Your dentist will be able to spot out any signs that call for a replacement. Need help picking out the right one? View these mouthguard reviews.
5. Juuls at School
Another concern for parents sending their kids back to school is the ever-growing popularity of Juuls and other smoking devices. These devices have become extremely popular among middle and high school students and can lead to serious oral health issues. Learn more in our recent article about vaping and oral health.
Your mouth is the gateway to your body, so it is essential to keep it in the best condition possible. Starting a dental hygiene routine with your children early can prevent future problems and avoid costly and painful oral complications. Just as homework and studying support learning, these tips support dental health. Keep those smiles and grades up!