An important, but sometimes neglected, part of back to school preparations is a small refresher of the importance of oral hygiene and its effect on overall well-being. When left untreated, dental issues can have a serious impact on your child's ability to focus and perform to the best of their ability.
Whether your child is elementary or university aged, we've got a few tips for how they can cultivate an A+ smile!
Below are four key components to maintaining oral health throughout the hectic school year:
- Regular dental examinations: Dental examinations at regular intervals are crucial to diagnosing and treating dental issues. Dentists are able to see the oral health issues that we can't, and they can take precautions to prevent minor problems from developing into major ones. A deep cleaning at the beginning of the year will also help your child start the school year off on the right foot!
- Regular brushing and flossing: We all know the importance of brushing after each meal and flossing at least twice a day. With the hustle and bustle during the academic year, these things are sometimes neglected. When purchasing back to school supplies, picking up a small travel dental kit will both facilitate and encourage regular brushing. But remember, brushes should be changed every three months or immediately after an illness.
- Healthy lunches free from excess sugar: Healthy meals and snacks are a key part of promoting the health of teeth and gums. Foods rich in calcium are important to the development of teeth and bones, especially if your children are young and their smiles are just developing. Sugary snacks, although a big hit with kids, can encourage the production of harmful bacteria and cause tooth decay. Try to limit the consumption of sweet snacks by replacing them with tasty and healthy alternatives (like the ones in our newsletter!).
- Mouth guard, if participating in organized sports:Whenever there is a possibility of contact either with other competitors or any immovable objects, we highly recommend the use of a mouth guard to ensure that your child's smile is protected. There are many over the counter options available, and we recommend these until children lose all of their baby teeth and get their second adult molars in. For children over 12 years of age the highest level of protection we recommend a custom-fitted mouth guard that is made specifically for your child's smile.
At Toronto Children's Dental Office, we encourage parents to ask questions and get involved in the dental experience. We hope to empower you to make the best decisions for your child's oral health and overall well-being. If you'd like to know more about our dentistry, or if you'd like to schedule an appointment, please contact our office.