Social media is blowing up with photos of kids heading back to school. Everyone is excited about showing off new clothes and shoes, but what about that back to school smile? First day of school pictures need bright new smiles too! If your kids got a little apathetic over the summer months with their oral hygiene — the beginning of the school year is a great time to reboot their healthcare routine! Here are 5 ways to get a great back to school smile.
Pack a healthy lunch
Good nutrition is key to a healthy smile. When your teeth and gums are healthy, you can eat the foods that keep them going strong. When back to school time arrives, pack lunches that provide a good balance of protein, fat and good vitamins like calcium. The American Dental Association (ADA) lists the following as good-for-you options:
If your child packs their own lunch, be sure to have healthy options available and educate them on how their diet impacts their smile.
Start a new routine
With the start of the new school year, it’s a great time to start a new morning and bedtime routine. Maybe your child forgets to brush at night. Why not attach their oral care to their weekly allowance? Or, maybe they can watch a favorite cartoon while they brush. Some kids respond well to sticker charts or other positive reinforcement techniques. Talk to your child about a plan they are excited about that will keep them brushing and flossing daily.
Think about the drinks
Some of the worst products for a child’s teeth are drinks. Sports drinks, juice boxes, soda… all contain high amounts of sugar and are acidic. They market many of these drinks to kids as healthy options, however, grape juice can have 12 teaspoons of sugar!
We also know it’s not just about the sugar. The way drinks impact the pH level in the mouth can make the environment ripe for cavity causing bacteria to grow and thrive. Every time you drink, the pH in the mouth can drop. So, be careful not to sip on drinks, and if you drink something sweet pair it with a meal.
New backpacks, new clothes and a new toothbrush are on the back to school shopping list. The ADA suggests getting a new toothbrush or toothbrush head every 3-4 months. So, if you have been using the same toothbrush all summer — time to toss it and get a new one! Business Insider lists their favorite kid friendly picks, which brush is your favorite?
If you don’t already, get your child’s next dental checkup appointment scheduled. We love seeing kids and starting them off on the right foot for the new school year and their life. Establishing good oral health habits at a young age set kids up for a lifetime of healthy smiles. Regular dental appointments help us catch issues early and they need intervention it can be minimal. Untreated dental issues can cause missed school and lower grades.
Back to school is an exciting time. We want your kids to have the biggest, brightest smile as they take on the new challenges of the school year. Be sure to help them take excellent care of their teeth. If you have questions schedule an appointment with Skyway Dental Clinic.
The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.