It’s time for kids to head back to school and, what with getting your kids ready with all the supplies and clothes they need, it might be easy to overlook your family’s oral health. Dr. John C. Cranham of Chesapeake, VA can make the back-to-school season easy with family dental care and tips to maintain your oral health.
1. Make dental appointments for your whole family
Making your dental appointments every year at the end of summer is a good way to remember to schedule them. However, dental appointments fill up quickly, so it’s best to set up your kids’ back-to-school dental appointments early before the schedules and activities of the new school year get in the way. While you’re at it, this is a good time to schedule yours, too!
2. Pack low-sugar items in school lunches
Packing school lunches everyday can be stressful, and it’s easy to want to just throw in snack-size treats on busy mornings. However, with a little planning ahead, you can come up with healthy, low-sugar snacks to help protect your kids’ teeth. There are also some great low-sugar pre-packaged snack options that are worth taking the extra time to find.
3. Establish a time for tooth brushing
Although they don’t like to admit it, kids enjoy and thrive on routine. Setting up a daily routine that includes oral hygiene will set them up for a lifetime of good habits and healthy teeth. Dentists recommend brushing twice a day and flossing once a day, so the morning and bedtime routines are good times to include these activities.
4. Let kids choose their toothpaste and toothbrush
Make oral hygiene more exciting to your kids by letting them choose their dental products. Point out the children’s dental products in the store, many of which are available with their favorite characters and in delicious flavors, and show them where to look for the ADA seal of approval. Using ADA-approved toothpastes and toothbrushes will make sure you aren’t accidentally damaging your teeth while you’re trying to keep them healthy. When kids look forward to using what they’ve chosen, it makes an oral hygiene regimen easier to maintain.
5. Reward good oral health
Find a reward system that works for your family and reward good oral health. Did your child get a good report from their dentist? Reward them with time spent at a favorite place or doing a preferred activity or grant them a special privilege to help reinforce and reward their hard work.
6. Know what to do in a dental emergency
Accidents happen, and knowing what to do in those first few moments after a dental emergency can help save a broken or knocked-out tooth. An adult tooth that has been knocked out must be kept moist, so instruct your child to place it between their cheek and gums. If this is not possible, keep the tooth in a glass of milk and contact your dentist right away for an emergency appointment.
For a cracked or broken tooth, wash the mouth out with warm water immediately and contact your dentist for follow-up instructions. If the issue has been caused by trauma to the head or mouth, seek medical attention right away.
Dr. Cranham wishes you a great back-to-school season! To schedule your family’s appointments at our Chesapeake, VA office, schedule with us online or call 757.656.4109.