As you prepare for back to school season, don’t forget about oral hygiene. The summer may have left the whole family a little lax when it comes to brushing, flossing and eating healthy. Get back into good habits to protect your child’s teeth and gums. Here are some back to school oral hygiene tips from Clinton Dental Center.
Establish a School-Friendly Oral Health Routine
If your schedule adjusted during the summer, get back onto the school schedule. You should do this at least a week in advance so your children get used to the routine. Schedule brushing/flossing and meal times in coordination with the school schedule. Children (and adults) should brush their teeth at least twice a day and floss at least once per day.
We recommend having your child brush his teeth shortly after breakfast and before bed. However, if your child does not do well with that schedule, you could have him brush his teeth when he wakes up and after his after-school snack. Choose times that your child will remember. You may have your child brush after every meal to establish the habit. Then you can taper that back over time.
Prepare Healthy Meals and Snacks
Out with the junk food and in with healthy alternatives. Your child’s diet plays a big role in his oral health. Prepare meals and snacks that incorporate fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and other nutrients. Opt for water over sugary sodas and sports drinks. Lead by example by incorporating healthy food into your own diet. This will get your children more excited to eat well.
Get a New Toothbrush with Your School Supplies
When is the last time you replaced your child’s toothbrush? Toothbrushes should be changed once every six months. The easiest way to remember this is to get a new toothbrush after your child’s twice-yearly teeth cleanings. As another option, you could get a new toothbrush at the beginning of the school year and around spring break. When you’re out shopping for school supplies, pick up an age-appropriate toothbrush for your child.
Schedule Teeth Cleaning for the Whole Family
Start the school year off with a fresh, clean smile. Schedule teeth cleaning appointments for the whole family, just like you would a round of haircuts. At Clinton Dental Center, we offer family dentistry for clients of all ages. You and your children can come to the same dentist office. You will all receive quality, personalized care from a top-rated dentist near you. Contact us at (586) 949-5363 to schedule an appointment.
Talk to Your Dentist about Age-Appropriate Oral Hygiene
As your child’s smile develops, there will come new hygiene requirements. For example, if your child recently got braces, he will need to learn how to brush teeth with braces. If your child is experiencing tooth decay, he may need to use special toothpaste or mouthwash to strengthen his enamel. When you go in for the teeth cleaning, the dentist can complete an oral exam. Talk to your pediatric dentist about oral hygiene requirements specific to your child.