Kid Brushing His Teeth WFD

Back-to-School Dental Checklist

As we near the end of the summer, it’s time to start thinking about new shoes, clothes and backpacks. Just remember that in all of the back-to-school excitement, a dental checkup can be one of the most important things you do to help your children throughout the year. Below, we’ve listed a number of easy ways that you can prepare for and maintain a happy, healthy mouth throughout the school year.

1. Get a back-to-school checkup

By having an end-of-summer checkup we can prepare your child’s teeth to be their healthiest and strongest going into the school and holiday seasons.

Not only will we clean off all the summer sugary indulgences, we will be able to find any cavities or potential trouble spots and take care of them before they become a nuisance.

Often times, tooth pain from cavities or other dental issues is a reason for children being distracted an unable to perform at their best in the classroom.

2. Discuss Orthodontics

With the advancements in orthodontics, there are many options at many price levels available today that were not around just a few years ago. Now, more than ever is a great time to talk to your dentist about improving your child’s smile. Remember, orthodontics are not just about straight teeth. They also allow for better and easier cleaning resulting in fewer dental issues over the years.

3. Pack / Encourage Healthy Lunches

When it comes to protecting our teeth from sugary snacks it not about the total amount of sugar, but rather the frequency that we consume it.
Once classes start back up and your children are back at school, it can be a challenge to make sure they eat well. While you can’t control whether they trade their carrot sticks for a Twinkie, just having healthy, low-sugar snacks instead of cupcakes and candy provides them the first-choice option to eat well.

Here are a few ways to help your children make wise decisions that will not only help them stay fit, but will also go a long way to prevent costly and painful dental issues.

  1. Pack bottled water or non-sugared drinks
  2. Provide high protein or high fiber snacks like nuts, cheeses, carrots, celery as they promote a feeling of fullness for a longer period of time
  3. Fruit is a sweet treat alternative that can satiate a sugar craving while being less damaging to your children’s teeth
  4. If your child eats school lunches, talk to and encourage them to drink water or white milk instead of chocolate milk, soda or sports drinks

4. After school / Sports activities

Drink companies like Gatorade, Powerade and Vitamin Water spend billions of dollars each year to convince us we should drink their beverages, especially if we play sports. The reality is that, unless we practice and play like the pros, we have no need and do not benefit from the sugary drinks they promote.

Water is a better way to go for thirst quenching and, since it does not have the massive sugar contents of sports drinks will not promote cavities and tooth decay. In addition to limiting sugary sports drinks during games and practice, we can help our children’s dental health by reducing and limiting their intake of candy bars, sodas and other forms of sugar based candy at team celebrations, after-game parties or after-practice meals.

We are not saying your children can’t enjoy these treats. We love them just as much as you! Just remember to limit the number of times they do drink or eat sugar and when they do, have them follow it up with a good brushing and we’ll see them (and you!) with a healthy, happy smile at your next visit!

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