The month of September is back-to-school for most people. Your children may have brand new clothes, all of the school supplies, and be excited to be with their friends again at school. But is their mouth healthy and are they happy?
According to the American Dental Association, a dental examination is as critical as immunizations and booster shots and should be a regular part of back-to-school preparations.
And 19% of children ages 2 to 19 years old have untreated tooth decay. If a child does not address dental needs early in life, they can grow up with dental pain, which could lead to difficulty eating, speaking, and communicating with people.
Here are dentist-approved tips to help your children be healthy, happy, and excited for back to school.
Make a Dentist Appointment
A regular dental examination before school is an essential part of the back to school checklist. Regular dental exams help diagnose and prevent dental problems. Your dentist will suggest fluoride treatments or sealants to prevent tooth decay. They can diagnose and treat dental problems early on, so your child will have a better school year.
Pack a Travel Size Tooth Brush with You
Yes, regular dental examinations are part of an excellent oral health care routine, but the majority of the care should always happen at home. A child will look to their parents for advice, support, and inspiration. When you take care of your teeth, your children will see how important it is. One tip to help them care more, is to pack a travel-size toothbrush and tell your children to brush their teeth after lunch. This is a great way to keep them engaged in their health.
Eat a Healthy Lunch
Eating healthy food is one of the best things you can do to keep your teeth in tip-top shape. Pick fiber-rich fruits and vegetables. Foods with fiber have a detergent effect in your mouth, says the American Dental Association (ADA). They also stimulate saliva flow, which, next to right home dental care, is your best natural defense against cavities and gum disease.
About 20 minutes after you eat something containing sugars or starches, your saliva begins to neutralize the acids and enzymes attacking your teeth. Because saliva contains traces of calcium and phosphate, it also restores minerals to areas of teeth that have lost them from the bacterial acids. Another right choice is cheese, milk, plain yogurt, and other dairy products. Cheese is another saliva generator. The calcium in cheese, and the calcium and phosphates in milk and other dairy products, help put back minerals your teeth might have lost due to different foods.