5 Back To School Dental Tips

While this year was very different from years prior, one thing seems to remain the same–summer and the warm weather is going by way too fast! We know that many parents are already thinking about the upcoming school year. As of right now, we aren’t sure what the 2020-2021 school year will look like, but one thing we know for sure is that the safety and health of our children is a top priority. With that, it is important to remember that dental health plays a huge role in our overall health. After all, the mouth is the gateway to the body! Whether our children attend school in person or participate in distance learning in the fall, be sure to keep reading for some useful tips on how to keep your child’s dental health on track this school year.

Child giving thumbs up with packback on ready to go back to school

1. Book Your Child’s Regular Appointments in Advance

We understand that life gets busy, and sometimes we forget to schedule regular dental cleanings and exams on time. It is easy to push them off to the next week, and then the next week, and so on, especially once school is in session. To prevent your child from missing their dental visit, schedule your child’s next checkup before you leave the office. Woodbury Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics makes this easy by allowing you to make your next appointment even before your child is up from their chair! In addition, add these important dates to your calendar right away and sign up to receive text and email notification reminders as you get closer to their appointment dates. While dental check-ups are not a part of the back to school requirements, add it to your family’s back to school list anyway. This will show your child how important dental health is, and make them more comfortable when their appointment does arrive.

2. Have a Regimented Dental Routine 

While schedules and routines are important for adults, we often underestimate how vital they are for children. Reinforcing a daily dental hygiene routine can help ensure that your child will grow up to have a beautiful and healthy smile that will last them a lifetime! Make brushing in the morning before school a required step to beginning their day. Do the same for when they get home from school, and for bedtime. Additionally, make sure that they are flossing between teeth at least once a day (and preferably at night) so they are reaching surfaces that their toothbrushes cannot reach themselves. Do not skip these steps – make it a consistent, mandatory part of every single day.

3. Provide a Toothbrush for at School Use

One great way to make sure your child is keeping their teeth clean is to send a toothbrush, flosser, and mini-toothpaste in your child’s lunchbox. Once they are done with their lunch, they will see this as a reminder to head to the bathroom to remove any food from their teeth! We know that this may happen fewer times than we hope, but just sending your child to school with these tools reminds them of how important dental health is! 

4. Get a Mouth Guard

This tip may not apply to all children, but if your child is part of any sports teams or contact activities, it is important for them to have a mouthguard. Many sports do not require children to wear mouthguards, so it is important to reinforce this rule on your own and be aware of what sports do and do not require one. Additionally, speak to your dentist about having a custom mouthguard created for them. This will ensure that your child’s mouthguard is a comfortable fit and provide great protection for their precious teeth! Consider this option to help protect your state of mind and your child’s smile! 

5. Pack Healthy Snacks & Encourage Drinking Water

If your child likes a particular fruit or vegetable, use that as an opportunity to sneak it into their diet as often as possible! Pack it for their school lunch or snack. Crisp fruits and raw vegetables, such as apples, carrots, and celery, help remove plaque from teeth while also freshening breath. Vitamin C and other nutrients from fruits and vegetables help protect gums and other tissues from bacterial infection.

Grocery stores are also making it easier than ever to pack healthy school lunches, with new and healthier pre-made meals and Lunchables! There are also many free online recipes for picky eaters, that utilize hiding vegetables in desserts and sauces! 

Following these back to school tips whenever possible may save your child pain and anxiety from avoidable dental issues in the future. It could also save you the expenses of emergency or more costly dental bills in the future. Most importantly, it will help reinforce the importance of dental, and overall health to your child, so they can live a long and healthy life!

If you need to schedule your child’s appointment or have any other questions regarding these tips or your child’s oral health, please call or text our office at 516-921-0400. Thank you for reading, and we look forward to seeing your family’s smiles in our office soon!