Parents around the county have been gearing up their kids to going back to school. With academic institutions starting to hit the books as early as the first week of August, it may be time to start thinking about your child’s oral health curriculum.
You might have the back to school clothes, school supplies, and extracurricular sports equipment for the new calendar year, but does your child have healthy teeth and gums to boot?
The American Dental Association (ADA) says that dental examinations are as important as booster shots. They should be just as much a part of your back-to-school preparations as immunizations.
Bad Oral Hygiene by the Numbers
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provide statistics that support that tooth decay affects children in the United States more than any other chronic infectious disease. Nineteen percent of children from ages 2 to 19 have untreated tooth decay that either parents are unaware of or simply ignoring. These conditions can be undetected without regular visits to the dentist or orthodontist.
Dental pain from disease or any other oral health problem can lead to difficulty in eating, speaking, and playing. It can certainly take its toll on the learning process, and also cause your child to miss valuable class time due to complications.
Our Back-to-School Checklist
- Make sure to stay on top of regular dental examinations. This way your dentist can diagnose and treat dental problems, as well as prevent future occurrences. Don’t leave it upon yourself to shoulder the entire load of understanding the intricacies of your child’s oral health. Leave that to a dental professional. Fluoride treatments or sealants might be necessary to prevent disease.
- Cultivate a thorough and consistent brushing and flossing routine. Make sure to turn down the dental care aisle when you’re out spelunking for school supplies. Stock up on toothbrushes so that your child is able to change their brush (or brush head on electronic brushes) every three months or so (or after an illness). If you have a hard time gauging time, just switch your child’s toothbrush after every quarter’s report card.
- Incorporate healthy lunches and snacks. Include veggies, fruit, grains, and healthy proteins. It’s best to avoid the lunch line, but if your child eats at the cafeteria, make sure you know what they’re putting in their bodies.
- If your child plays sports, make sure they wear a properly fitted mouthguard or ensure the braces are protected.
For more information about how to boost your child’s oral health for this school year and beyond, contact I Song Orthodontics today.