With the school season around the corner oral health has to be at the top of your list! During the summer it’s easy to become more lenient with kids about what they eat, so dentists recommend that now is a good time to check in with the dentist and do a cleaning. Research shows that 60% of children fail to visit the dentist once a year. Now is a good time to check for cavities, for untreated tooth decay - all of this can keep a child from eating, speaking, sleeping, and even learning to their fullest potential. Parents should also be mindful of the snacks and lunches they pack. Some schools offering enticing sugary snacks for kids, but it is a good idea to pack healthy foods, keeping a child’s sugar intake at bay.
We challenge you do beat these statistics and start the school year off with healthy teeth! Request an appointment with Dr. Kim, our excellent pediatric dentist, or call 781-237-9071 with questions.
1. Consistent brushing. As always it is important to instill the habit of brushing twice a day. Getting back to school, children have to be reminded of the morning and evening routine. It is helpful to set up a time for brushing after breakfast and before going to bed. Dentists also recommend that brushing after every meal can be beneficial. There are many fun toothbrushes that have been coming out, and along with buying new folders and notebooks, parents can look into buying themed travel toothbrush and toothpaste that children can bring to school in their lunchbox. Just make sure that the toothpaste contains fluoride and that the travel toothbrush has soft bristles!
2. Flossing before brushing. To get an A vs. a B in oral care, you have to make sure to remember flossing. For small children, convenient pre-strung floss picks can make it easier to reach between teeth in little mouths. Put a floss pick on your child’s plate so they remember that right after they eat, they need to floss. By making these actions routine, your child will develop good habits they can lean on for the rest of their life.
3. Fluoride rinses. Once you are sure your child can swish mouthwash without swallowing it, add a rinse to their routine. Not only is it fun and leaves the cleanest feeling, but it also helps remineralise teeth and protect them from the effects sweets and soda have on gentle enamel. This step will put the parent's mind at ease!
4. Help make dentist their friend. Dentist visits are necessary and although many young students are afraid of them, parents can help put their mind at ease. Research shows, that if the parents show anxiety about the dental check-ups, it's far more likely that the children will, as well. Dentist are working to help you have the best quality of life, besides dentistry has come a long way in terms of comfort and amenities. A kid's visit often includes playing in the waiting area, watching cartoons for distraction, drawing and getting fun prizes and stickers. Be sure to prepare your child for their dental visits by explaining how the staff will take a picture of their teeth during X-rays, clean their teeth and examine the teeth. Eliminate the unknowns and your child will walk into the dentist office with more confidence and a better understanding.
At our office in Wellesley, two friends will greet your children upon their visit - dinosaurs Christoper and Kiki. They will help your kids practice their brushing skills!
5. See the dentist every 6 months. It is recommended that school-age children visit the dentist twice a year. It is important to make sure all transitions that a child’s teeth goes through are happening in a timely manner, whether is it is losing baby teeth or expecting permanent ones to come in. Staying on a regular six month schedule will keep your visits timely and give you an early alert if a child needs extra help with their brushing and flossing or has issues that need to be treated.
Now that everyone is getting back to school, let’s make it important to keep up with good oral health this school year! Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group; they will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Request a check-up with Dr. Kim, our pediatric dentist, or call 781-237-9071.