It always seems that “back-to-school” season comes around way too fast, doesn’t it? Most of us are still in high-summer mode, and suddenly seeing school supplies instead of beach toys at your local big box store is a huge wake-up call.
So pretty soon you’ll be back in shopping mode, gathering clothes, supplies, and sports equipment needed for the new school year. This is the year you’re going to be ready to go when the big day arrives, and there will be no chaos! We wish you luck with that!
Did You Forget Something?
But you may be overlooking one important thing – your child’s dental health. In their infinite wisdom, the American Dental Association says that dental exams are as important as immunizations when making back-to-school preparations.
While we’re talking statistics, the CDC says that nearly 20% of children between the ages of 2 and 19 have untreated tooth decay. Of course this can be painful for the child, but can also cause difficulty speaking, eating, and even enjoying recess. Not to mention the school days missed while you play catch-up with their dental needs.
We’re not trying to make you feel guilty either. After all, summer was pretty fun for the whole family this year, and dental visits were most likely the last thing on your mind. But it’s all fun and games until someone has to go back to school, so let’s talk about what you need to get your child’s oral health in order for the big day.
Back to School Dental Care – The Big Four
As usual, childhood dental exams top the list. In lots of cases you and your child won’t know that there’s a problem until they have a proper dental checkup. On the flip side, wouldn’t it be better to avoid these problems in the first place? An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of discomfort and lost school time for your child.
Brushing and Flossing
Equally important - brushing and flossing. You’re in the store anyway, so why not head for the dental care aisle and pick up some new toothbrushes so you have spares on hand. A good way to remember when it’s time to chuck the old brush is when report cards come out. Two birds, one stone.
While you’re at it, grab some yummy flavored floss, like cupcake or bacon (?!) Those are actual flavors you can buy online, we kid you not. What child would balk at their dental hygiene routine with bubblegum flavored floss in the picture?
Make it easy for your child to stick to a sensible diet while they’re at school. If you pack your child’s lunch, include healthy items like granola bars, milk, raw veggies, and yogurt or fruit. If your child eats cafeteria food, take a few minutes to revisit healthy, balanced food choices before the first day of school.
Your child’s PE teacher or coach will most certainly put this on their list of needed items. Having your child fit for a mouth guard will protect their precious teeth and give you peace of mind when they’re flinging those sticks and balls around during organized sports or playground activities.
We wish you lots of luck with the coming school year, and we know it will be the best ever for your kids! Please give our High Point dental office a call to schedule their appointment for a cleaning and exam so you can check one item off your back-to-school list!