It’s that time of year when parents and children experience a flood of emotions. Everyone is anxious and excited to return to school, and it’s easy to lose track of some things, such as dental check-ups and packing healthy snacks.
We understand. Back to school is already stressful, so let us take a load off your shoulders. Take a deep breath and use this back-to-school dental care checklist to ensure your child’s smile is picture-perfect.
Back to School Dental Check Up
Having your child’s teeth cleaned and checked every six months is an important part of his or her oral health routine. Consider how much your child has grown and changed since the end of the school year in the spring! Their mouths also changed.
Perhaps they would benefit from orthodontic treatment, or maybe they have early signs of a cavity. When your child’s dentist sees him or her on a regular basis, they can detect problems early on, preventing larger problems later on. Also, wouldn’t it be nice to have a bright smile for school pictures?
Back to School with Braces
Many children return to school with new uniforms, but what if your child has braces? Oral care is different with braces, as anyone who has had them before can attest.
- Make a plan for your child to brush his or her teeth after lunch.
- Make a school braces kit that includes a travel toothbrush, floss, toothpaste, and dental wax.
- Prepare for emergencies so that your child knows where to go and who to call in an emergency.
- Carry a water bottle with your child if possible to keep them hydrated and to rinse away debris and bacteria throughout the day.
It’s also critical to talk about healthy eating habits with your child. Remind them of what they should avoid while wearing braces, and pack braces-friendly snacks for healthy teeth!
Back to School Dental Care Tips and Teeth Friendly Snacks
Do you feel ready to return to school? Maybe these tips, tricks, and tooth-friendly snacks will make you and your child feel better about going back.
Top Dental Tips for a Successful Back to School Experience
Back to school presents unique challenges for children of various ages, and it frequently disrupts those morning and night routines when you normally handle oral care. Try some of these tips to make those transitions go more smoothly without jeopardizing your child’s oral health!
- Make time for your dental hygiene routine. Include a morning brush in your daily routine and do the same at bedtime. Remember to floss! Consistency is beneficial for children of all ages, and it can be soothing for those who are adjusting to new school schedules.
- Allow your child to select their own toothbrush and toothpaste. It doesn’t matter how old your child gets; having some control over even the most insignificant aspects of life can mean the world to them.
- Encourage people to drink plenty of water and avoid sugary drinks.
- Allow older siblings to assist. Big brothers and sisters can set a good example for good oral hygiene while also relieving you of the burden.
- Reward good oral habits, particularly in younger children who require positive reinforcement.
- If your child participates in sports, consider purchasing a mouth guard for added protection.
Remember that discussing oral health is critical. When you openly discuss the benefits of brushing, flossing, and eating tooth-friendly snacks, you help your child understand why it’s important.
Snacks for Healthy Teeth
Lunchtime at school is one of the most social times of the day, as well as an important time for providing your child with nutritious foods to keep them going. Even if you no longer pack your child’s lunch, having healthy snacks on hand will encourage them to eat well.
Healthy Snack Suggestions for Elementary Kids
It may be tempting to include some gummy treats and flavored juice packs, but your child’s teeth may suffer as a result. Elementary-aged children are rapidly growing and require nutrients to support strong teeth and healthy gums.
Replace sugary foods and drinks with tooth-friendly alternatives such as milk, cheese, and tropical fruits. Mangoes and kiwis have a sweet taste but are high in vitamins.
Snacks for Middle School and Teenagers
Lunch becomes more about socialization than food around middle school, so it’s in your best interest to provide a variety of healthy snacks for your child’s teeth. They’re more likely to eat if they can munch on something that won’t embarrass them or take away from their social hour.
Cucumbers, carrots, and celery are excellent tooth snacks. You can serve them with a dip or marinate them overnight in a herb mixture. Even better, those snacks are shareable, which may benefit both your child’s teeth and social life!