As summer ends and kids head back to school this fall with new outfits and backpacks full of supplies, it is also a great occasion to teach children of all ages about dental health and start habits that may continue through the years. Dr. Paul Berger and Dr. Joshua Lange, your Sonora dentists of choice, have these important tips for both kids and parents as the school year begins.
Time To Replace Those Brushes!
The start of fall and the school year is a wonderful time to replace everyone’s toothbrushes. The American Dental Association guidelines say to replace brushes every three to four months, or when their bristles wear out. A brush that is too worn will not properly clean teeth or keep cavities at bay. A great way to get your child involved in the oral care process is to take them to the store with you, and let them pick out their favorite toothbrush (just remember to pick a soft bristle variety of the right size!).
Get Mouth Guards Before The Sporting Season Starts
Many school-aged children participate in contact and active sports, so it may be a good idea to ask your dentist about a mouth guard to protect their young teeth against injury. Making sure to get a properly fitted mouth guard is key to getting one that does the job well. A dentist like Sonora dentist Dr. Paul Berger can take measurements and help create a mouth guard that will fit perfectly and protect teeth and gums. You may know that mouth guards are recommended for sports like football, lacrosse, or soccer, but kids can also benefit from wearing guards when participating in activities like biking, gymnastics, or even skateboarding.
Be Sure To Snack Right
As lunchboxes fill with snacks and lunches of all type, it’s important to consider healthy options for your children. You may know that avoiding sugar-filled treats is good for children’s teeth, but foods like crackers and chips are full of starches and carbohydrates, which are just as bad for teeth. These snacks can break down and get stuck in-between teeth, inviting harmful bacteria, which can lead to tooth decay. Instead, offer kids alternatives like baby carrots, celery, or cheese, which can actually be beneficial to your teeth, instead of items like candy or granola bars. Fruits and whole grains are also good for teeth, and swapping out sodas for water or milk will also help keep their smiles healthy and bright.
Get In The Habit (Of Twice Daily Brushings)
Along with getting up for school and the daily bedtime rituals, back-to-school time to is an excellent time to get in the habit of twice daily tooth brushings. Brushing in the morning and before bed breaks down plaque and helps rid the mouth of the bacteria and acids that can eat away at enamel and cause cavities. Making sure to brush for the recommended time is also crucial to promoting healthy gums and teeth. Fortunately, there are quite a few handy timers for kids of all ages available to help encourage brushing for the right amount of time. You can even involve them in the purchase of those timers to help them keep motivated about their dental health.
Time To Schedule Those Dental Exams
Fall is also a perfect time to schedule the family’s dental checkups. While we may sound like a broken record, regular dental exams are extremely important to keep teeth strong and healthy. Exams allow the dentist and hygienists the chance to spot any decay, gum disease, or any other oral health concerns that parents may miss. Regular exams also prevent kids from missing too many school days due to cavities or other dental health issues.
We hope these tips have been helpful for the back to school season. If you have any other dental issues you’d like us to address, please contact us today and let us know. We hope to see you and your family soon!