It’s August and back-to-school season is in full swing across the nation. Everyone is filling their shopping carts with markers, pencils and new backpacks. Parents are taking children to get haircuts and physicals and eye exams in preparation for the new school year. But, one thing that often gets overlooked when it comes to back-to-school time is oral care. Here are a few tips to help keep teeth and mouths clean, healthy and strong this school year.
Schedule a Cleaning and Exam
Did you know dental cleanings and exams are recommended by the American Dental Association at least twice a year for a healthy patient? Have you or your children been to the dentist for an exam and cleaning in the last six months? If not, it’s time to schedule an appointment. Keeping up with these visits helps keep tartar from forming, since some of the normal buildup on teeth can only be removed with professional tools. It also lets Dr. Norman keep an eye out for any potential problems so you can treat them as early as possible, making treatment more successful, cheaper and easier in most cases.
Think Healthy Teeth When Packing Lunches and Snacks
If your kids bring their lunch every day, this is a perfect way to help make sure the stuff inside their lunch boxes helps their oral health! Some of the best lunch and snack items for teeth include apples, celery and cheese, just to name a few. These foods help clean teeth while your kids are biting and chewing on them, and cheese even helps protect teeth from decay.
Avoid packing juice and instead opt for water. Fruit juice is a major contributor to childhood cavities, and the American Academy of Pediatrics has even changed its guidelines of recommended servings of fruit juice for children.
Pack Floss and a Toothbrush
We always recommend teens and older children with braces have a small bag with some oral care tools such as floss, wax and a toothbrush with toothpaste in their backpack. However, even children without braces could benefit from this. Giving them the tools to touch up their teeth after lunch or anytime they’re feeling less than clean can be a huge help for their oral health! Be sure to tell them to wait at least 20 minutes after eating to brush, because the enamel is softened due to the acid attack that occurs in the mouth during eating.
For more tips on back-to-school or children’s oral health in general or to schedule a cleaning and exam for yourself or your children, call us today.