Get Your Back-to-School Smile Ready
August is officially back-to-school month. Now’s the time when kids start preparing for early mornings, figuring out their new routine, and possibly attending a different school. Make sure your children have the confidence to take on the challenges and opportunities that a new school year brings. This means ensuring their oral health is spot on! Here’s how to get your child’s back-to-school smile ready.
Buy a New Toothbrush
There’s no more effective way to prevent cavities than by brushing your teeth morning and night. However, if your toothbrush has seen better days, it may not be capable of effectively scrubbing away plaque and food particles.
The American Dental Association recommends replacing your toothbrush once every three to four months or as soon as the bristles show signs of deterioration. You should also buy a new toothbrush after getting over an illness since the bristles harbor germs that could lead to re-infection.
When buying a new toothbrush for your back-to-school smile, look for one with soft bristles that won’t irritate your gums or wear down tooth enamel. Only in rare cases should people use medium- or hard-bristled toothbrushes. Also, look for a brush with a small head, which makes it easier to effectively clean hard-to-reach places toward the back of your mouth.
Reassess Your Oral Care Routine
You may have fallen out of your oral care routine over the summer. Late nights and family vacations can lead to bad habits. As you get back into the swing of things, make sure you and your children follow all the top oral care recommendations, including:
- Brush your teeth for two minutes morning and night.
- Make sure you brush all the surfaces of your teeth.
- Floss once a day to remove plaque that hides between your teeth.
If you have young children who are starting preschool or kindergarten this year, get their back-to-school smile ready with these tips to make oral care fun:
- Turn on a two-minute song while your child brushes their teeth.
- Use a sticker calendar to mark each day your child brushes and flosses.
- Pick a toothbrush in your child’s favorite color or with a fun cartoon character.
- Buy kid-friendly floss holders that make flossing easier and more comfortable.
Prepare Healthy Lunches and After-School Snacks
Other decisions you make throughout the day affect the health of your teeth and gums besides how often you brush and floss. Take your diet, for example. Starchy foods, sugary candy, and colorful dyes can erode and stain teeth.
Promote a healthy back-to-school smile by encouraging your kids to make better choices for their body and mouth. For instance, fresh fruits and veggies such as apples, carrots, and celery are ideal for scrubbing teeth clean and counteracting bad breath. Dairy products such as cheese, yogurt, and milk provide calcium and other nutrients for strong teeth, and they also neutralize harmful acids in the mouth.
Get some healthy school lunch ideas from VegKitchen. Then, don’t just insist that your kids eat healthier this school year—practice what you preach, and adopt these healthy habits for yourself as well!
Wear a Mouthguard
If your child is planning to play contact sports this fall, protect their mouth with a simple device called a mouthguard. This fits over the teeth to protect against tooth chipping and cracking, as well as preventing soft-tissue injuries, such as bit tongues and split lips.
Not all mouthguards are created equal. Stock mouth protectors are the cheapest, but their one-size-fits-all solution isn’t ideal. Boil-and-bite protectors are the next best option, but they still may not fit perfectly.
The best option is to have a mouthguard custom made by your child’s dentist to ensure the ideal fit and best protection against injury. This small investment can keep your child from getting hurt and save you the time and expense of restorative dentistry.
Schedule a Dentist Appointment
The end of summer is the perfect time to schedule a dental cleaning and exam. Your dentist can assess any damage that occurred during the laidback summer months and get your child’s teeth prepared for a healthy school year before the busy back-to-school season hits in full force. Be sure to ask about fluoride treatment and dental sealants to help stop cavities before they start.
Get Ready to Flash that Back-to-School Smile!
Don’t put your child’s oral health on the back burner while you focus on other aspects of the back-to-school season. As a family dentist in Boulder, Dr. Ania can care for the smiles of children and adults alike. Our goal is to keep our patients’ mouths healthy and beautiful while ensuring the most comfortable experience in a professional yet relaxing office setting. Schedule a dental checkup for the whole family to get everyone’s back-to-school smile ready!
To learn more about our dentistry services, or to arrange a visit to our Boulder, CO dentist office, please contact us at (303) 872-9940 today.