It’s official; it’s back to school time. You can tell by the sound of the school buses that stop to pick up their newly outfitted frames and ferry them off to school and then deposit them back (usually hungry) in the afternoon. But according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, more than 40% of the kids who are yet to begin kindergarten have tooth decay. That’s why back to school time is also a wonderful time to remember to teach your child about oral and dental health. Below are a few important tips for parents and children from Coos Bay, Oregon Dentist Dr. Lori Lemire
Replace The Brush
A new school season is also a great time to replace your child’s toothbrush. The American Dental Association recommends replacing your toothbrush every three to four months. A worn out toothbrush does not do a very good job of keeping you teeth clean. A good oral care lesson is to take your child with you to the store and have them pick out their favorite soft bristle variety and type that is right for their size.
As a parent, it’s your job to help provide healthy lunch and snack items if you child takes their lunch to school. Foods that are not only healthy for your kids but are also good for your teeth include milk, cheese, raw veggies, fruit, and whole grains. Just try to keep the sugar filled foods and drinks like sodas to minimum to save your children from the risk of cavities.
Get On A Schedule
It’s always recommended to brush twice a day, so encourage your kids to get into the habit of the morning and evening rituals. Brushing properly breaks down plaque and keeps teeth healthy. There are many handy timers available to measure the 2-3 minutes that is best for a child’s active brushing. Or you can pick a favorite song and play it while they brush, to make sure they are spending the right amount of time with the toothbrush in hand. Once again, involving them in the process of purchasing that timer or choosing a song can get them excited about their oral care.
Plan Your Regular Exam
Yes, we say it a lot, but regular dental checkups when your kids are young are very important. Exams are a part of life and parents and teachers may not realize when there’s a serious dental problem. Making sure to add a dental exam as part of getting ready for school in the late summer or in the early fall is paramount in helping spot problems before they occur. From sealants to fluoride treatments, only a dentist can diagnose what your child needs to save them from missing any school days due to teeth pain.
Guard Their Mouths
If you child plays sports, it may be advised that they wear a mouth guard. It is extremely important that mouth guards fit properly and a dentist like Coos Bay Dentist Dr. Lori Lemire is trained in taking measurements and creating the right kind of guard. Mouth guards are recommended when a child plays in sports that involve contact like football, soccer or lacrosse, and also sports that include falling, like skateboarding, biking and gymnastics. Check with your dentist to see what kinds of mouth guards are right for your child.
Call us today to set up an appointment for your child.