You’ve bought the fall clothing, picked up the new backpacks, and made sure there’s an ample supply of pens and pencils. But have you given thought to your children’s dental hygiene? The beginning of the school year is an excellent time to help your children develop strong, clean teeth by establishing healthy habits that will last a lifetime.
1. Have the Right Supplies on Hand
Of course, we know you have toothbrushes, floss, and toothpaste at your home. However, now’s the time to make sure that they’re the right brands and in good condition. By right brands, we’re referring to those ADA-approved toothpastes that your kids enjoy using, rather than complain about because of the taste.
As for toothbrushes, take a look at them to evaluate their condition. Well-worn toothbrushes do a less effective job of cleaning teeth. The right supplies are an important first step in making sure your children practice good oral hygiene.
2. Establish a Regular Brushing and Flossing Schedule
During the summer, you may have gotten a little lax on monitoring your children’s brushing and flossing habits. We encourage you to get back in the swing of things by designating certain times of the day for your children to take care of their teeth. For instance, you can make just after breakfast and dinner those times of the day where the whole family brushes.
3. Stock Up on Healthy Snacks
When junk food isn’t available, children do opt for healthier snacks. Not only do you want to pack healthy snacks for your children to take to school, but you’ll also want to make sure they have plenty of good choices on hand when they’re at home. We recommend that you select hard cheeses and crunchy fruits and vegetables. Avoid buying lots of high-sugar treats like candy and sports drinks. And speaking of those sports drinks…
4. Pack a Water Bottle
Sports and energy drinks are highly acidic, meaning they wear down tooth enamel. Instead, encourage your children to bring water when they attend sporting events. To make the idea more appealing, we recommend that you allow your children to select their own water bottles from the store. They’re far more likely to swig from a water bottle if they had a hand in picking it out.
5. Schedule a Back-to-School Dental Checkup
After the indulgences of summer, don’t forget to schedule dental appointments for your children! Unfortunately, tooth decay is quite common in children and as with adults, the sooner it’s treated, the better the results. If it’s been 6 months since your kids’ last dental checkup, it’s time to get an appointment on the calendar.
We’ll make it easy for you! You can request an appointment for your children by clicking here or by calling us at 978.688.4441. We’re happy to offer evening and weekend hours for your convenience in our Methuen office, and we look forward to helping your children start the school year off right with clean, healthy teeth!