It’s almost time for your kids to head back to school! And what better way to make sure they have an excellent year than to keep them in good health? Here are five easy steps you and your kids can take to keep their smiles healthy all year long.
1. Add toothbrushes to your shopping list.
Did you know that, according to the American Dental Association, you should replace your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months? Otherwise, your child’s toothbrush may not be protecting their dental hygiene as much as you would hope. Can’t remember the last time you swapped out their toothbrushes? Not to worry—just take a look at their toothbrush bristles! If they look frayed or worn, it is definitely time to buy a new toothbrush at the store. Also, if your child has been sick recently, you’ll want to buy a new toothbrush, as bacteria and germs have a tendency to get stuck in the bristles and could get them sick again.
2. Remind them to floss.
In order to protect your child from a number of oral health issues, it is important that they floss at least once a day. Otherwise, the bacteria in plaque that hides in those tough-to-reach places can release harmful acids on their dental enamel and lead to decay. It can also harden into a calcified substance known as tartar, which can irritate the gums and lead to gingivitis and gum disease. To remind them to floss, try putting a sticky note on the mirror or even leaving an individual floss pick in their lunchbox!
3. Pack healthy lunches.
One of the best ways to keep your child’s teeth healthy is to ensure they are on a healthy, well-rounded diet. Skip the sugary treats that can corrode their dental enamel, and instead try putting in fibrous fruits and vegetables—they act as nature’s toothbrushes and naturally scrub the surface of their teeth as they chew! Yogurt and cheese is great as well, as these dairy products contain calcium that strengthens their bones, including the jawbone and teeth. You can also try giving them tart fruits like pineapple and oranges, as these fruits can neutralize the acids in your child’s mouth that would otherwise lead to decay.
4. Set a timer.
Most kids have a tendency to rush through their dental hygiene routine, particularly when brushing their teeth! However, if they don’t take enough time to brush their teeth, your kids might be missing plaque and food debris that can harm their enamel and gums. Try having your kids set a timer for two minutes while they brush their teeth. This will help them to get a sense of how long they should be brushing, and ensure that they clean every surface of their mouth thoroughly.
5. Book their regular dental check-ups.
As you’re scheduling booster shots and physicals, don’t forget to schedule your child’s dentist appointment as well. We’ll examine your child’s mouth for decay, gingivitis and more, as well as perform a thorough professional cleaning to prevent oral health issues that would otherwise force them to miss school days down the road.
Want to schedule your child’s dentist appointment? Contact College Drive Dental Associates in Palos Heights today!