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Back to School Tips for Better Dental Health


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School’s in for much of the country. If you’re getting back into the swing of things because you have children who attend school, now’s a great time to get them into the routines that will help them be successful. This includes creating good routines for their dental health. Read on for some tips on improving your kids’ dental health during the back-to-school acclimation.


Make Sure They’re Brushing in the Mornings

If your children have been sleeping in all summer, it stands to reason that they’re going to be a little tired and pressed for time in the morning during the first few weeks of school. Don’t let them neglect their oral hygiene regimen! Make it a strict rule that after breakfast, they go immediately to the bathroom to brush their teeth. Remember that kids in elementary school should have a check by you to be sure they’ve done a good job. It’s fine to leave flossing for the evening; in fact, it’s better to have them floss before bed, because that removes all of the debris between the teeth before they go 8 to 10 hours without eating or drinking anything.

Pack Tooth-Friendly Foods in Their Lunches

If your kids eat a peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich for lunch and follow it with chocolate milk and potato chips, not only are they not getting enough fruits and veggies, but they’re also filling their mouths with simple carbohydrates that will feed bacteria all afternoon long. Instead, send them with fresh fruit like apples and strawberries or fresh veggies like carrot and celery sticks in their lunches. These foods will physically remove plaque as they chew. In addition, have your kids sip plain water at the end of their meal to remove food debris. If they can, have them rinse out their mouths in the bathroom. If not, just swishing and swallowing can remove sugars and accumulated plaque.

Remember Special Care for Braces

Does your child wear braces or orthodontic retainers? If so, send him or her with a toothbrush. They might feel a bit strange brushing their teeth after lunch, but they’ll feel even stranger if they have food caught in their braces. Yuck! Stress the importance of oral hygiene under these circumstances. You might need to let your child’s teacher know that they must brush after lunch. Also, if your child’s retainer must be removed so he or she can eat, send along the retainer case. This can prevent an expensive incident where the retainer ends up getting thrown out with lunch trash. It will also save your child’s lunchmates from looking at the retainer while they eat.

If you have questions about how to improve your child’s dental health, please give us a call!

Call 919.388.3111 to make an appointment or

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