As summer ends, we say goodbye to longer days, summer vacations, and swimming pools, and hello to cooler weather, schedules and routine, and a new school year. As kids start school and get into a new routine, this is a great opportunity to re-introduce or re-enforce healthy oral hygiene habits. Teaching kids to value their oral health now will have countless benefits for the future and will be setting them up for oral health success for years to come. Here are our top five tips on how you can ensure your children have a healthy smile during this new school year.
- Get new supplies. Just like kids love going to pick out their new backpack, pencils, and other school supplies, why not let them also pick out a new toothbrush and their favorite kind of toothpaste? Don’t forget to also let them pick out their own dental floss. Have them put all of their new dental supplies in their own cup and keep it on the bathroom counter so they know exactly where it is. Nothing will thwart a dental hygiene routine more than misplacing your supplies!
- Plan school lunches. Summer may have been a time when kids’ eating habits weren’t the best, so going back to school is the perfect time to cut back on sugary drinks and candy and instead fill the lunch box with healthier options. Also, consider sending your kids to school with their own water bottle which can help encourage them to drink more water. Drinking water throughout the day will be great for their dental health.
- Get in the habit. As you form a new routine, make sure you are allotting enough time each morning before school and every night before bed for your kids to do everything they need to do for their oral health. If kids feel rushed and frantic getting ready for school in the mornings, their dental hygiene will be one of the first things to go. Since everything will take longer at first, for the first couple of weeks give your kids extra time to do everything. Remember that kids need to be brushing their teeth for two minutes each time and they should be flossing once a day. Once the routine has been established and they are used to doing these things, it won’t take quite as long.
- Protect your teeth. If your child has braces and plans to play sports this year, don’t forget to protect their teeth by purchasing a mouth guard. Mouth guards are required for some sports, but not all, and we recommend your child wear one even if it isn’t required. Even minor sporting incidents can create expensive and painful treatment to fix the braces and correct any damage that occurs.
- Visit your dentist. With the start of a new school year and a new schedule, now is the time to make sure you have an appointment for your child to visit his or her dentist for a checkup and dental cleaning. Visiting the dentist twice a year is how you can ensure your child’s mouth is clean and healthy.
At Cornerstone Family Dentistry, our friendly and knowledgeable staff would love to help give your child a healthy and beautiful smile this school year, so make an appointment with us today!