As the new school year begins, it’s important to remember the impact that good oral hygiene can have on your child’s overall health and academic performance.
Taking care of their teeth not only ensures a great smile but also boosts their confidence and prepares them for a successful semester.
Don’t underestimate the power of dental care in setting your child up for a productive and healthy school year. We’ve put together some simple dental tips to help your child ace the new semester with bright smiles and healthy teeth.
Get Back Into a Brushing and Flossing Routine
During the summer break, it’s not uncommon for children to ease up on their brushing and flossing habits. Well, now is the perfect time to get them back on track with a consistent oral hygiene routine.
Remind your child to brush their teeth twice a day, preferably after breakfast and before bedtime.
Make sure they brush for at least two minutes with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste to get a thorough clean.
Brushing isn’t the only thing that matters. Flossing is just as essential to get rid of plaque and food bits from areas that a toothbrush can’t reach. Make flossing a fun activity by doing it together with your child.
You can even introduce flossing picks or flavored floss, such as this fruit smoothie swirl-flavored flossers. These good habits will help your child avoid dental problems and keep that grin sparkling all semester long!
Pack Healthy Lunches
If you are a parent who prefers to have control over what your child eats for lunch, try avoiding sugary lunch boxes and drinks to keep dental issues at bay. Instead, opt for some nutritious options such as:
- Crunchy fruits and veggies such as apples, carrots, and celery are great as they act as natural toothbrushes, scrubbing away plaque as they are chewed and stimulating saliva production.
- Dairy products like milk and cheese. They are loaded with calcium, which is essential for strong teeth and bones. They also help neutralize mouth acid, reducing the risk of tooth erosion.
- Leafy greens such as spinach, lettuce, and kale. These are packed with calcium, folic acid, and vitamins that promote dental health by fortifying tooth enamel.
- Meats, poultry, and fatty fish like salmon. These foods are rich in phosphorus, a mineral that works together with calcium in helping protect and build tooth enamel.
Tooth-friendly lunches not only promote good dental health but also provide your child with the energy and nutrients they need for a focused and productive day at school. So, it’s a win-win!
Stock Up on Tooth-Friendly Snacks
After a long day at school, children often come home hungry and eager for a snack. Have tooth-friendly options readily available to satisfy their hunger without compromising dental health.
Instead of reaching for sugary and sticky snacks that cling to the teeth (i.e., fruit snacks and cookies), consider offering alternatives like nuts, seeds, and plain yogurt.
Nuts and seeds such as almonds, peanuts, chia, and flax are excellent choices as they are low in sugar and also contain essential nutrients that support dental health, including calcium, vitamin D, and magnesium.
Similar to other dairy products, plain yogurt is rich in calcium, which promotes oral health. Pair it with fresh fruits for a filling snack that won’t harm your child’s teeth.
If your child is craving chewing gum, opt for Xylitol gum as it offers protection against S. mutans, the oral bacteria most commonly associated with causing dental caries. Just make sure your child is old enough to chew gum safely.
Wear a Mouthguard for Athletes
If your child is participating in contact sports during this new school year, prioritize their oral health by making sure they wear a mouthguard during the games.
Whether it’s football, soccer, or basketball, those games can often get rough and put their teeth at risk of injury due to potential collisions, falls, or impacts.
A properly fitted mouthguard acts as a protective barrier, absorbing the force of impacts and minimizing the risk of dental trauma. It’s a small move that can help avoid chipped teeth or other mishaps.
Read also: Does My Kid Need a Mouthguard?
Schedule Dental Cleaning and Checkup (If You Haven’t Already)
Ideally, it’s best to schedule a dental checkup and cleaning for your kid before the school year starts. But if you haven’t done it yet, don’t worry. Just reach out to your pediatric dentist and schedule the appointment as soon as possible.
Taking care of dental visits early on helps prevent any dental emergencies during the busy school season, and it gives your child the confidence to focus on their studies and activities.
These dental health tips above can help set your children up for a successful semester with healthy and bright smiles.
Remember, dental care is not just about a beautiful smile; it’s an essential component of your child’s overall health and academic performance.
So, let’s make dental health a priority this back-to-school season and give your children the tools they need to ace the semester with confidence and success. And if you’re in Lafayette or the surrounding area, don’t forget that Lafayette Pediatric Dentistry is right here for you!
We offer a safe and cozy atmosphere with a friendly staff to make sure your child receives top-notch dental care. So, if you’re searching for a children’s dentist in Lafayette, LA, go ahead and book an appointment with us today!