School is right around the corner! And every child wants to look their best as they head back to school this fall. Parents can help by scheduling haircuts and buying new outfits, but many overlook the simple steps to helping their child maintain one of their most visible features – their smile!
Studies show that one of the first things people notice about someone is their smile and that a good smile creates a positive self-image…something all parents wish for their children. ‘Back-to-school’ is the perfect time to incorporate good oral health habits into a child’s daily routine. The sooner you make good oral health a priority, the sooner your child will benefit.
Schedule a back-to-school dental visit
Seeing a dentist twice a year during the school-age years is vital! This time in your child’s life is a time of great change in the mouth. Loosing baby teeth and getting in their permanent teeth. And tooth decay is still the most common chronic childhood disease. Left untreated, tooth decay can impair a child’s ability to eat, speak, sleep and learn. Studies show more than 60 percent of school-age children do not see a dentist annually. Preventive checkups twice a year can head off childhood decay! And they help you and your child learn how to protect their teeth throughout the year.
Establish daily brushing habits with your children
Children should brush at least twice a day. And to encourage children to brush after every meal, let them pick out their own travel toothbrush and toothpaste to take to school. There are many child-friendly products that help encourage younger children to brush! Be sure your child’s toothpaste contains fluoride and their toothbrush is soft-bristled!
Make good nutrition a top priority
National studies show that only one in five (1:5) school-age children eat the recommended 5 daily servings of fruits and vegetables. This greatly increases their risk of cavities. In addition, only one in five (1:5) children meets even the minimum standards for calcium consumption. Take charge of your child’s health this school year by packing healthy lunches!
Don’t forget after-school snacks! Many school children go straight to sporting practices after school and turn to sugary foods and drinks from a vending machine when they don’t have any other option. This is disastrous to children’s oral health! Vegetables fruits, nuts and bottled water are much better after-school snack options and give children the fuel they need to excel in physical activity.
So be sure to schedule your child’s oral exam soon! Pediatric Dentistry of Pleasant Hill is here to help!
For more articles on dental health, see our main blog page.