In the rush to get ready for school, most kids don’t spend enough time brushing their teeth. Poor dental hygiene can lead to tooth decay, the #1 most common chronic childhood disease. Over 51 million school hours are lost each year due to dental-related illness! Tooth decay is 5 times more common than asthma and 7 times more common than hay fever… but it is preventable!
Tooth Care Tips for Kids
Teaching your kids good dental hygiene habits early on will not only ensure their oral health, reducing dental bills, but also their overall health! Help them get an A+ on their next dental report card by:
- Let your child choose his or her own toothbrush as long as it’s the proper size and soft bristled, it makes for a more enthusiastic brusher! Replace a toothbrush when it’s worn, bristles splayed, or after an illness and never share a toothbrush.
- Kids are sensitive to strong flavors and usually dislike adult toothpaste. Finding a flavor of children’s toothpaste they like will be a trial & error but worth it in the long run.
- Using a 2-minute tooth brushing timer, like the Twooth® Timer, will help to keep track of the time and make sure they’re brushing for the recommended two minutes.
- Pack a nutritious lunch & snack. Fresh fruit, vegetables, and cheese are great choices. Cheese, like aged Cheddar, Swiss, and Monterey Jack, is especially good for teeth because it neutralizes acids. Avoid fruit juices & sodas because they are very acidic and erode tooth enamel. Also avoid foods that are sticky or chewy because they will cling to the tooth surface, allowing the bacteria in plaque to produce more acid.
- It’s unlikely that kids can brush their teeth after lunch. But a quick trip to the water fountain to rinse their mouths is almost as good.
- Floss picks make flossing easier for kids and come in fun flavors. Find one they like and the battle is almost won! If you can’t get your kids to floss twice a day, make sure they floss before going to bed.
- Setting a good example.
Make a Dental Checkup Part of Your Back-to-School Checklist
Regular dental checkups (every 6 months) will make sure their smiles are healthy. While it may seem like an unnecessary expense, regular checkups actually save money in the long run! A dentist will not only clean your child’s teeth but also check for any problems. Caught early they can be quickly fixed, with little or no pain, and prevent a big bill. And it will prevent your child from missing school due to dental-related illness! If they’re not in school, they’re not learning.
Remember a healthy mouth = a healthy body. May this be a wonderful school year for your children!
Share Your Tips
If you have a back-to-school tip that could help another parent or caregiver, please share it! If you have a question or comment, please feel free to post that as well.