Dental Tips 101: Start the Year Off Bright
A fresh schedule and a new backpack mean your child is headed off for their first week of school! In addition to making sure they feel supported and ready for a full year of learning, it’s important to make sure your little one’s dental health is cared for.
Get your notebook out and jot down these helpful lessons!
1. Schedule Their Cleaning
Your little one’s smile is still forming, making regular visits to the dentist very important. If you haven’t scheduled their dental checkup yet, make sure to do so! There’s no better feeling than starting a new school year looking and feeling your best.
Your child’s dentist will use their appointment to check the health of each tooth, measure their growth, and clean their smile.
2. Remind Them of Their At-Home Routine
Before heading off to school and after returning home, it’s important for your child to care for their smile. Just like doing their homework and eating their veggies, proper at-home dental care should just be a part of their regular routine!
Here are some tips to get your child stay on task:
- Lead by example.
- Use a gold star program for good habits.
- Take your child to the store to pick out a new toothbrush for the school year.
- Pick up new dental-themed books or educational videos.
In addition to flossing and using mouthwash, your child should be brushing their teeth 2-3 times per day — but it’s important to make sure they brush properly. Here are some simple steps to help your child brush their smile right:
- Hold the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle.
- Don’t forget to brush the front, top, and behind of the bottom front teeth.
- Use short strokes and spend time cleaning each area of the mouth.
- Sing ‘Happy Birthday’ while brushing to ensure they are brushing long enough.
3. Pack the Right Snacks
One important part of managing your mini-me’s oral health while they’re at school is to focus on the foods that they’re eating.
Foods to Avoid
Limiting foods that can increase bacteria growth, plaque build-up, and those that potentially could cause damage to your child’s teeth can help keep their smile bright. Here are some top snacks to avoid:
- Chewy candy.
- Sodas and carbonated drinks.
- Starchy foods.
- Citrus fruits.
Foods to Pack
Now that you know which foods to avoid adding to your shopping list, here are some beneficial snack ideas:
- Hard-boiled eggs.
- High fiber fruits (such as pears, apples, and strawberries.)
- Leafy greens (such as kale, spinach, and cabbage.)
- Low-fat dairy products.
- Nuts and seeds.
4. Keep Them Hydrated
Your child may love an ice-cold lemonade or juice box, but these drinks are typically packed with sugar. Water is a healthier option that can help limit their intake of added sugar while helping to improve their overall oral health.
If you want to add flavor to their water, try adding fresh fruit and let it sit for a few hours! Another fun way to encourage your child to drink plenty of water is to take them to the store to pick out their very own reusable water bottle that they can bring to school.
5. Protect Their Braces
If your child has braces, it’s important to make sure they know how to care for them while they’re out of the house. This means avoiding chewing hard or sticky foods which can damage their braces, and remembering to take out their clear aligners when eating.
You should also discuss what to do in case your little one breaks a bracket at school, and include extra floss and oral gel in their backpack.
Start Your Child’s Journey at Total Kids Dental
We hope your little one has the best school year possible! At Total Kids Dental, we go above and beyond patient expectations by creating a space where children feel heard, respected, and safe.
Our compassionate dentist, along with our leading and compassionate staff, provide children with the following benefits:
- Gentle & easy-to-understand treatments.
- Honest and personable communication.
- Playful, creative, and interactive atmosphere.
- Bilingual staff (Farsi & Spanish).
- A trusted team of providers.