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Back to School Dental Tips…

Did you know that neglecting your child’s dental health can cause an increase in missed school days?

In a recent study published in the Journal of Public Health, it was found that between 58 and 80 hours of school were missed due to dental pain and toothaches out of every 100 students between the ages of 5 and 17.  The parents of those students missed an average of 2.5 work days to take their child to their dentist.

Benefits of Good Oral Health for Children

  • Better grades
  • Helps prevent gum disease and cavities
  • Improved concentration due to less mouth pain

To lessen the likelihood of your child missing school and you missing work, follow these tips to ensure good oral health:

  1. Schedule a Dental Checkup at Least Once a Year

As you get ready to send your child back to school, don’t forget to schedule their routine dental visit.  Scheduling your child’s dental visits prior to the start of the school year ensures that you do not forget to make his/her appointment.  During the visit, you can expect us to look for cavities, decay and discolored teeth, check your child’s mouth for jaw and tooth growth and perform a thorough cleaning.

  1. Teach Your Child to Brush, Floss and Rinse

Until your child reaches the age of 7, monitor his or her oral hygiene habits and teach them to brush their teeth and rinse twice a day.  To help with brushing, you can set a timer for three minutes or download a cell phone application that helps motivate children to brush their teeth.

In addition to brushing and rinsing, you should teach your child how to floss.  This can be accomplished by you flossing your teeth in front of your child and then helping them floss their teeth until they understand the process.

  1. Limit Your Child’s Intake of Candy and Sweets

Sticky and sugary candies that are left in the mouth automatically increase the levels of harmful acids, and it can take as long as 20 minutes for the saliva to neutralize those acids.  If your child eats these types of candies multiple times a day, they are increasing their risk for cavities.  Instead of candy or sugary treats, plan for healthy desserts and snacks, including fresh fruits and nuts.

If you plan to give your child candy or sweets, it’s best to do it after a meal.  The previous food eaten provides some protection against the sugar.  Afterwards, instruct your child to go brush his or her teeth to remove the food particles and sugar.

  1. Regularly Check Your Child’s Teeth

Many parents do not regularly check their children’s teeth for discoloration, plaque buildup and stains.  These are the precursors to cavities and mouth pain.  If you notice abnormalities with your child’s teeth or red or swollen gums, schedule an appointment with your dentist for a checkup and cleaning.

If you have any Questions or Concerns about your child’s Oral Health, don’t hesitate to give us a call 910-799-9059. You can contact us via our website by clicking here.