Dr. Sally’s Back-to-School Children’s Dental Guide [for parents]

HollyWood Dental Blog


Dr. Sally’s Back-to-School Children’s Dental Guide [for parents]

dr sally back to school dental guideSchool is here soon (if not already here!) and with that comes the need to look our very best on first day back! As a parent – the burden for your children to look great on their first day back falls on you. To your convenience, I’ve made this simple guide that should be followed to ensure your children’s teeth are ready to go!

1. Re-Iterate Proper Brushing Habits

It’s easy for children to slip on their brushing and flossing habits during summertime where the living’s easy. Even if you ask them, chances are they’ll say “yes” even when they actually never brushed or flossed their teeth. As such, you’ll have to bring them back up to speed with their oral hygiene routine.

Replace their brush. When you’re browsing school supplies, let them choose a toothbrush of their choice – just make sure it’s labeled as “soft”. Also look into purchasing a timer. This can help them with the full 2 minutes recommended for an effective brushing.

Personal recommendation: Brush and floss with them – study their technique. Chances are your children have improper form, which doesn’t keep the cavities away. Flossing is difficult for children so it may be wise to invest in dental flossers, making it easier for them. And if you yourself are unsure of proper form, I will be glad to show you on your next appointment with me!

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2. Limit Sugar Intake

Children will always take the sugar option if it’s presented. While natural, sugar in large quantities can be devastating to our teeth. You want to find suitable replacements that they will be satisfied with when you pack their lunch. And if the school offers their own meal program, make sure you’re OK with their offerings. Sometimes the food is really unhealthy.

Suitable replacement: Fruit. Fruits have sugar in them, yes, but if eaten in moderate quantities provide many other benefits besides being a suitable replacement to hard candies or gummies that serve no real nutritional value.

Suitable replacement #2:
Gum. Gum with Xylitol is a good replacement for snacking. It helps stimulate saliva production that is important for preventing tooth decay. Choose a flavor they love, but make sure it is ADA approved with Xylitol.

Instead, try using candies and the like as a reward incentive on weekends for showing excellence/diligence at school. Candy in controlled moderation won’t hurt and may work to your benefit.

3. Dentist Appointments

Your child’s brushing and flossing habits will show their true colors with a dental appointment right before school starts. X-rays and dental examinations will reveal anything out of order. Any tooth decay present can be taken care of just in time for school, where picture days may be coming up.

Aside from the standard two visits per month recommended by the American Dental Association, consider having your child undergo an orthodontic evaluation. Their teeth may have issues that early orthodontic treatment could fix and prepare them for when they get older. First impressions matter!

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