Summer is wrapping up and the new school year is upon us! While you begin to get back into your child’s school routine, we encourage you to also think about adding back-to-school dental care to your end-of-summer to-do list with these five quick and easy tips to keep your child’s teeth and gums healthy.
5 Easy Tips for a Mouth-Healthy School Year
1. Keep Up the Good Habits
Continuing to practice oral hygiene habits every single day – even during the lazy days of summer – helps children to maintain these habits throughout the school year too. That’s why you should always encourage your children to brush their teeth twice a day for the recommended two minutes and to floss at least once a day.
Be sure you teach them proper brushing and flossing techniques as well to ensure they are effectively cleaning their teeth. They should be spending at least 30 seconds brushing each quadrant of teeth. Show them how to hold the toothbrush so that the bristles are at a 45-degree angle against their gums. Additionally, your children should be gently flossing so that the dental floss forms a “C” shape, hugging the rounded surfaces of each tooth’s edge.
2. Drink Lots of Water
Drinking plenty of water not only keeps the body hydrated and functioning at its top level, but it also helps promote a healthier mouth.
- First, drinking water helps to rinse harmful bacteria away from the teeth and gums and out of the mouth.
- Second, staying hydrated promotes healthy saliva production, and saliva also helps to keep the mouth free from bacteria. Additionally, saliva is a solution that contains minerals like calcium, fluoride, and phosphate that help remineralize and strengthen tooth enamel.
- Third, if you are drinking city water that is fluoridated, the water itself can also help to remineralize your tooth enamel and strengthen your teeth against tooth decay and cavities.
3. Cut Back on Sugar
The harmful bacteria living inside the mouth feed on the sugar and starches that we consume in foods and drinks. By limiting the amount of sugar you consume, you also limit the amount of sugar available for bacteria to feed on. Instead of packing sugary snacks for your children during the school day, send them with cheese or other dairy products that not only help to fortify the teeth from within but also contain enzymes that actually combat the bacteria living in the mouth.
If you do enjoy sugary treats, be sure to consume them quickly to limit the amount of time that the bacteria in the mouth are exposed to sugar. Then, rinse your mouth out with water afterwards.
4. Refresh Your Toothbrushes
It’s not only important to brush your teeth, but it’s also essential to brush with a high-quality toothbrush that is not worn out. Most toothbrushes need to be replaced after two or three months of regular brushing. If you notice that the bristles of your family’s toothbrushes are starting to look frayed, then it is time to toss them and replace them with fresh ones.
Additionally, you should also replace toothbrushes after the user has been sick. Toothbrushes can carry bacteria and viruses that can reinfect a person or even expose the rest of the family to a contagious disease through cross-contamination in a toothbrush holder. If you’ve had a sick family member, and you all use the same toothbrush container or store your toothbrushes in close proximity, then they should all be replaced when everyone is feeling better.
5. Schedule a Dental Exam
Your child should visit the dentist for a professional dental examination and cleaning a minimum of once every six months. There are several ways in which these routine dental exams are essential to your child’s ongoing oral health and healthy oral development:
- Regular professional dental cleanings are designed to remove tartar and tough stains from the teeth to prevent tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease from developing. Plus, they keep your child’s smile looking bright.
- We can also provide your child with important preventive dental treatments during routine examinations, such as fluoride treatments and dental sealants. These treatments help to strengthen your child’s teeth and prevent tooth decay and cavities from developing.
- Routine examinations enable our dentists to detect and address any potential issues as soon as they arise – rather than waiting until after they have progressed further and are more difficult and/or costly to treat.
- Scheduling regular dental exams teaches your child about the importance of good oral hygiene for their health.
- Our team can help ensure your child is learning proper oral hygiene habits in addition to effective brushing and flossing techniques.
Comprehensive Family Dentistry in Hilliard Ohio
The team at Smile Hilliard strives to provide the highest quality dental care for your whole family. We offer a comprehensive list of preventive, restorative and cosmetic dental treatments designed to help our patients achieve and maintain optimal oral health. Additionally, if your child participates in sports, we offer Custom Athletic Mouthguards in our office to protect their teeth, free of charge!
We’re here for you and your children to keep your smiles healthy, happy, and beautiful for life! To learn more about our pediatric dentistry services or to schedule your family’s next dental exams, we welcome you to contact our office or request an appointment online today.