A new school year is right around the corner. School supplies aren’t the only things your child needs to succeed during the year ahead. Their dental health also contributes to their academic performance. 34 million school hours are lost annually from oral health issues. Don’t let simple mistakes keep your child out of the classroom. Here are 5 back-to-school tips to keep their mouth healthy.
1. Schedule a Cleaning and Checkup
Toothaches are responsible for many dental emergencies, which often result from preventive issues, like cavities. You can ensure an untreated dental problem doesn’t keep your little one from feeling their best by scheduling a cleaning and checkup.
Children should see their dentist every 6 months. Their dental hygienist will clean and polish their teeth to ensure their smile looks its best for the first day of school. Their dentist will examine their teeth and gums to look for anything that needs to be addressed before they head back to the classroom.
2. Limit Sugars and Starches
Childhood tooth decay is 5 times more common than asthma and 20 times more prevalent than diabetes; however, cavities are preventable. You can lessen your child’s risk of tooth decay by packing healthy foods in their lunch.
Limit sugars and starches, which feed cavity-causing bacteria. Instead, include plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables to keep their mouth and body healthy.
3. Keep Them Hydrated
Your child’s dental health relies on staying hydrated. A dry mouth is a perfect environment for harmful oral bacteria growth. Every sip of water will keep their mouth moist and cleanse their teeth and gums in between brushing and flossing. It will also keep them hydrated to support their wellness.
4. Good Home Oral Hygiene Habits
Life can get pretty hectic during the school year, but your child needs to brush their teeth at least twice a day for 2 minutes each session. Around the age of 6, they should floss their teeth daily. Good oral hygiene habits at home will support a lifetime of dental health.
5. Invest in an Athletic Mouthguard
If your little one will be playing sports during the upcoming season, they need the protection of an athletic mouthguard. Sports-related dental emergencies are common. An athletic mouthguard is a simple way to protect their teeth, gums, jaw, and oral structures if there’s an accident or injury.
Don’t let anything stand in your child’s way of succeeding during the school year. Give their teeth and gums the attention they deserve to ensure their mouth and body stay healthy.
About Dr. Marie Tremblay
Dr. Tremblay earned her dental degree from the University of Montreal and continued her education at Tufts University. She has completed advanced education in pediatric dentistry. Dr. Tremblay is affiliated with many professional organizations, including the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. Request an appointment online.