School is just about to start, which means it’s probably a very busy time in your home. Every parent wants their child to have the most successful start to the academic year possible, but do you know what often derails this? Dental issues. Every year, thousands of students miss thousands of hours of class time because of preventable dental problems. Thankfully, there are a few simple things you can do so that your little (or not so little!) one can focus on adjusting to their schedule rather than needing to pop in for an unexpected dental visit.
1. “Where’s your mouthguard?”
One of the most common causes of dental injuries is sports-related accidents, and these can happen even in games that are supposed to not involve contact. Basically, no matter what sport your child plays, they should always wear a mouthguard, even during practice. This drastically reduces the risk of an impact from an errant ball (or player) causing a broken or even knocked-out tooth. To ensure your child actually wears one, though, it’s wise to invest in a custom guard made by a dentist, as the fit will be much better and allow for easy speaking and breathing. This way, it won’t simply be “forgotten” in a bag or locker.
2. “What’s for lunch?”
When it comes to your child’s oral health, their diet is just as important as their daily oral hygiene. If you pack their lunch, be sure to include teeth-friendly items like fresh fruits and vegetables (sliced apples are a great option), plain yogurt, and nuts like cashews, almonds, or walnuts. These all contain nutrients that are great for building strong enamel, plus they don’t have the added sugar found in many other items. Be sure to only include water as well, as soda and even fruit juice are extremely rich in cavity-fueling sugar.
3. “Have you brushed yet?”
As your child switches from their summer schedule to their school one, it’s easy for little things to go by the wayside, like brushing their teeth. In the week or two ahead of the school year, try to get your child into the habit of brushing in the morning and brushing and flossing right before they go to bed. That way, this routine will hopefully be ingrained by the time classes start.
4. “One last checkup!”
The easiest way to make sure that your child doesn’t have a dental problem that will pop up later and cause them to miss school is to simply take them in for one last checkup and cleaning. This will give their dentist a chance to examine their mouth, refine their hygiene routine, and answer any questions either of you has. If they do find an issue, they can start working on it before it turns into a toothache in the middle of math class.
By focusing on your child’s oral health right now, you can give yourself (and them!) one less thing to worry about as school starts. Plus, you’ll make sure that they have a smile they feel confident showing off, which will go a long way in helping the year begin on the right foot!
About the Author
Dr. Allan Mohr is a widely respected dentist who has been practicing in the Massapequa Park area for 35+ years. In addition to routine checkups and cleanings, he is also one of the most respected providers of cosmetic and implant dentistry in the country. If you’d like your child to visit him before school begins, you can schedule an appointment just by clicking here.