With the summer of 2020 coming to a close, families have had to adapt to the coronavirus pandemic and conform with state and county regulations. Schooling has been one area where hard decisions have been made with new rules to keep others safe. Whether your child is attending classes in school or online, keeping their smile healthy is paramount no matter what else is going on around them.
Healthy Teeth, Healthy Smiles
School pictures are just one of the reasons why a great smile matters. You don’t want your child grimacing in photos because their teeth hurt! Likewise, if they feel good about their teeth, they will feel more confident to show it off.
Social distancing, wearing face masks, and frequent hand washing will likely keep your child focused and busy on top of their usual day-to-day school activities. Participation in sports, chorus or band practice, extracurricular activities, and social distancing with friends will also be a new arrangement for your children.
Keeping your child’s smile healthy will protect them from missing school from toothaches or other oral issues. If they haven’t already seen our dentist for their back-to-school dental cleanings and exams, now’s the time to catch them up. Addressing tooth problems early will lessen their discomfort, minimize treatment measures and cost less to treat.
Establishing a regular dental routine, no matter what their age, is necessary to keep out tooth decay and gum disease that could cause your child to miss school. Older kids will benefit from having a smile toolkit they can keep in their backpack, and younger kids will enjoy having easy rewards like a sticker chart near their toolkit to track and mark off daily. Preschoolers will also enjoy stepped up oral hygiene by singing two-minute songs with you as they brush. These daily dental habits can reward your children with healthier, happier smiles.
Don’t just fill their backpack with the normal school supplies like paper, notebooks, pens, and pencils; equip them with a smile toolkit for their dental health!
- Always start with products carrying the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance to ensure the product has been tested and is deemed both safe and effective.
- The new school year is a great time to replace their old toothbrush! Keep it gentle on their tooth enamel (and gums!) by making sure it has soft bristles, and the head is compact enough to maneuver in their mouth easily and comfortably. If your child hates brushing their teeth, consider getting an electric toothbrush that makes the job easy and effective.
- Make sure they also have a dental flossing tool that they like using to clean those areas that a toothbrush might miss. Dental floss often comes in fun flavors appealing to children’s taste buds, and oral irrigators can help older children enjoy flossing more, especially if they are also wearing braces!
- Supplying a fluoride toothpaste helps keep tooth enamel strong, and if your child is cavity-prone or has a hard time cleaning their teeth, adding a mouthwash can help remove some of the bad oral bacteria.
- Don’t forget snacks! Replace sugary foods and drinks with more tooth-friendly options. Chopped crisp apples, raw carrots and celery can all help scrub plaque off their teeth. Even sugarless gum and mints can freshen breath while stimulating healthy saliva production.
- If your child is active in sports, don’t forget to add a protective mouth guard to their toolkit. A well-fitting, customized sports guard can keep their teeth and gums safe from injury during physical activities.
Your child’s daily oral habits and routine dental cleanings and exams will go a long way to helping their mouth stay healthy and their smile more attractive. School pictures or not, a cavity-free, pain-free smile will keep your child focused on the tasks in front of them, including their schoolwork. Help them have the best school year yet by giving them the oral health tools their smile needs!