With summer quickly winding down, it's time to start planning for fall. If you have kids, that means a return to school. If you're like most people, back to school plans include new clothes and school supplies. However, back to school plans should also include plans for proper dental hygiene. Kids can experience significant dental problems during school, especially if steps aren't taken at home to protect their teeth. Here are some things you can do to help your kids avoid dental problems this school year.
Schedule a Dental Visit
If your kids will be heading back to school soon, now's the time to schedule a dental visit. The best way to prevent dental problems is to insist on routine dental visits. Starting each school year with a trip to the dentist will not only allow the dentist to catch problems early, it will also help your kids develop good habits that will follow them throughout their lives. Beginning the school year with a trip to the dentist can help you avoid those emergency dental problems, such as cavities and gum infections.
Insist on Mouth Protection
If your kids have reached the age where they participate in sports, either as part of a school program or with friends during recess, insist on mouth protection. Sports injuries can cause serious damage to your kids mouth, teeth, and gums. Talk to your dentist about custom mouth guards for your kids. Custom mouth guards fit right over the teeth, protecting them from sports-related injuries. If your child does injure their teeth during school sports, call for emergency dental services as soon as possible. Mouth injuries require immediate dental attention.
Keep Them Hydrated
Kids don't always keep hydrated during school; whether it's because the water doesn't taste good, or they don't like to drink from a water fountain. Unfortunately, poor hydration can lead to an increased risk for dental problems. That's because dehydration interferes with the body's ability to produce saliva, which is necessary for healthy teeth and gums. One way to ensure that your kids are properly hydrated during school is to send them with at least one water bottle. Choosing one with a built-in filter will allow them to refill at any faucet on campus, without worrying about bad taste or contamination.
Pack Natural Toothbrushes
Your kids probably know that they need to brush their teeth after each meal. However, if they're like most kids, they don't want to brush their teeth while they're at school. Unfortunately, lack of brushing can lead to an increased production of plaque, which can lead to cavities. While you can't force your kids to brush their teeth at school, you can provide them with a healthy alternative. Send them to school with natural toothbrushes that they can enjoy at lunch time. Pack fresh carrots or celery in their lunch each day. Crunchy vegetables will clean your kids teeth naturally. If your kids don't like carrots or celery, choose one of the other fresh fruits and vegetables that will keep their teeth clean when they can't brush.