It’s that time of year when parents and children flock to their local stores to stock up on textbooks, pencils, and other necessities for the new school year. One “to-do” item is often overlooked, though—The back to school dentist visit. Along with this appointment comes a critical conversation with your children of all ages about dental care. Our Boulder dentist has some dental tips to help you ensure your kids have a healthy mouth and good dental hygiene habits.
1. Planning Ahead
Despite the long summer vacation, the school year seems to sneak up on us. The family vacations and summer sports such as baseball and swimming can keep you quite busy. Before you head off to buy a new backpack, give your family dentist a call and schedule your child’s appointment to so you have plenty of time before the first day of classes.
2. Understanding Each Child’s Dental Needs
Good dental hygiene habits are important at any age, but you may need to help your children brush for longer than you think. Each age group has specific needs and warning signs to watch for, including:
6 and Under: This is the time in which your kid’s teeth and mouth are continuously changing and growing. You’ll need to help them brush during these years, especially as more teeth come in. Some children forget to account for emerging molars in the back of the mouth.
7 to 12: At this age, your children know how to brush, but they may miss important parts of the mouth. Encourage them to floss and brush thoroughly, and you could make a nightly routine of cleaning your teeth together. Kids mimic adults and will follow your lead.
12 to 18: Cavities tend to appear in this age group, which could be caused by poor dental hygiene, as well as junk food. It’s essential to keep pushing our kids to take care of their teeth because the habits they develop now will stick with them through adulthood. This is also the typical age for orthodontic work such as metal braces, which makes dental care more difficult. It’s easy for plaque to accumulate around the braces, causing long-term damage.
You can make it fun by playing their favorite song while brushing, using a sticker calendar to reward good dental habits, or purchasing a specialty toothbrush with one of their favorite cartoon characters.
3. Healthy Snacks & Hydration
School meals may provide nutrition but are often cooked using sugary and processed foods. You can avoid the potential teeth problems caused by the sugar and starches contained in school meals by packing your child a lunch to bring to school. Drinking lots of water has many benefits including healthier teeth. Sodas and juices are often loaded with more sugar than anyone should consume in one day. The subsequent sugar crash may even interfere with their ability to learn and retain information during afternoon classes.
4. Tooth Safety
Contact sports such as football, basketball, and volleyball are great ways to promote exercise, but they also come with an inherent risk of mouth injuries. Broken, chipped, or missing teeth should be addressed as soon as possible by our dentist in Boulder. A knocked out tooth should be replaced within a half hour of the incident. You can prevent these injuries with a custom mouth guard.
This is an exciting time of the year for parents and children, embarking on a new school adventure. While you’re crossing off your list of new school supplies, remember to add a dental visit. You can schedule their appointment at Adler Advanced Dentistry today by calling 303-515-7335.
Our Boulder dentist serves patients in Boulder and surrounding areas such as Lyons, Nederland, and Louisville, Colorado.