It’s the start of a new school year, and your kids are set with new clothes and school supplies. But don’t forget about your oral health! Add these dental health tips from Solar Dental in Grand Prairie, Texas to your back-to-school checklist.
During the morning school rush, there’s a real chance that many children don’t spend enough time brushing their teeth. Or decide to grab a sugary snack on their way out of the door. Sadly, stats show just under one in three (31%) children start their school lives with tooth decay.
This is appalling because every single case of tooth decay is completely avoidable. The good news is that by educating children properly from an early age, we can help to keep their teeth top of the class.
Here are our simple steps to make sure children’s teeth get top marks:
Start early: This is vitally important as it sets them up for life. As soon as your baby’s teeth come through you should brush them every day. Also, make an appointment with a dentist at Solar Dental in Grand Prairie, Texas to make sure everything is developing okay and get tips on how to look after your little one’s teeth. Making tooth-brushing a family activity is a great way to help young children understand the importance of a healthy mouth.
Take your kids to Solar Dental in Grand Prairie, Texas
Start the school year right with a dental cleaning and exam. Ask your child’s dentist in Solar Dental in Grand Prairie, Texas about sealants and fluoride treatments to prevent decay. These treatments are easy ways to stop cavities before they start. And they can even improve your child’s performance at school. A third of children miss school because of oral health problems.
Two minutes twice a day: The most basic rule – brush your teeth last thing at night and at least one other time during the day with a fluoride toothpaste. For parents, it’s a good idea to watch your children until they are confident they can be trusted to brush for the full two minutes unsupervised. This usually happens around the age of seven.
Tasty tooth times: Children are often fussy about flavors of food that they eat. The flavor of toothpaste is no different, so let them pick one they like. Make sure you choose a toothpaste with the right amount of fluoride in it, no matter what flavor it is. All children up to three years old should use a toothpaste with a fluoride level of at least 1000ppm (parts per million). After three years old, they should use toothpaste that contains 1350ppm-1500ppm.
Pick the right snacks
Swap out lunchbox no-nos with healthy alternatives. Instead of chips or crackers, try nuts. Salty snacks may seem healthy because they don’t contain sugar, but simple starches can be just as bad. These snacks break down into a sticky goo, coating teeth and promoting decay. Avoid candies and granola bars, offering crunchy snacks like celery sticks, baby carrots, and cubes of cheddar cheese.
Dietary duty: Educating on diet is important too. Get your kids to pack their healthy lunch and snacks for school. Avoid sugary foods and drinks and instead opt for breadsticks, vegetables, and even cheese, which is a great choice as it helps remove harmful acid. Your kids get a better idea of what is healthy and what is not, helping not only their oral health but overall health.
The best brush: Choose a small-to-medium-sized toothbrush with soft-to-medium bristles. This is the perfect size for your child’s mouth. Don’t forget to replace the toothbrush regularly, when the bristles become worn, and after an illness.
Make brushing and flossing fun
To keep their mouths healthy, kids need to brush twice a day for two minutes at a time. They should also floss every day, preferably after dinner. Try these tricks to make oral hygiene more exciting:
- Use a sticker calendar. Let your kids place stickers on each day to represent brushing and flossing.
- Play music. Collect your kids’ favorite two-minute songs and make sure they brush the whole time.
- Personalize. Help your child pick a themed toothbrush in his or her favorite color.
- Provide a kid-friendly floss holder. These Y-shaped devices make flossing more comfortable.
The last straw: Try to teach your children the best healthy drinks to have in their lunchboxes, such as water and milk. If they do have sugary drinks, teach them to use a straw when drinking. This helps sugar and acid in the drink go to the back of their mouth and reduces the number of bacteria attacks on their teeth.
We love our patients and love to help them form healthy dental life that will last them a lifetime. For more information call us to answer all of your questions so get an appointment today.