5 Dental Tips For Kids Going Back To School

Posted on 10/23/2020

flossingThe Journal of Public Health recently published a study that found that for every 100 students between the ages of 5 - 17 missed between 58 to 80 hours of school due to dental issues and toothaches. And, the students' parents missed an average of 2.5 workdays taking their children to the dentist for dental problems.

As your child prepares to go back to school, whether they are learning remotely or actually going to school, it's the perfect time to schedule an appointment with your pediatric dentistry. With school comes a routine, and it's the right time to make their oral health part of that routine.

As a leading pediatric dentist, Dr. Larry Caldwell shares these tips for good oral health that will hopefully keep you and your child from missing school and work due to dental problems.

1. Schedule a Dental Checkup Right Before School Starts

You should schedule your child's dental checkup every year before school starts because it is a good way to remember to schedule the appointment. At the appointment, your child's teeth will be professionally cleaned, and your pediatric dentist will check for cavities, gum issues, as well as teeth and jaw development. Your child should see the dentist twice a year for professional cleaning and a dental checkup.

2. Establish a Routine for Brushing and Flossing

You should work with your child to develop a routine for brushing in the morning after breakfast, after lunch, and then before going to bed. If your child is attending school, send along a toothbrush and mini toothpaste in their lunchbox so that they can brush after lunch. You should teach your child to brush between two to three minutes. There are some fun apps available that you can use that will help motivate them to brush.

You will also need to teach your child how to floss their teeth. You should let them watch you floss, so they understand how it's done. Until they are old enough to manage the floss on their own, you will need to help them floss.

3. Watch the Sweets

Candy and soda are loaded with sugar, which turns into acid that sets the stage for tooth decay. This is not to say your child can never have these treats, but they should be limited, and you should provide healthy snack alternatives. You should have your child brush their teeth after consuming sugary snacks, but have them wait about 30 minutes before brushing, so they aren't pushing the acid from the sugar around their mouth.

4. Talk to Your Dentist About Fluoride Treatments and Sealants

Most city water systems contain fluoride to help strengthen teeth and prevent cavities, and you should also have your child brush with a fluoride toothpaste. If you are on well water or your city water does not contain fluoride, you should talk to your pediatric dentist about fluoride treatments to ensure their teeth are protected.

Another option to protect their teeth from decay is dental sealants. The sealant is like a barrier around the teeth that will help prevent plaque and bacteria from forming on the teeth to prevent decay and cavities.

5. Be Prepared for Dental Emergencies

Hopefully, you won't encounter a dental emergency, but they do happen. If a tooth gets knocked out or cracked, contact your pediatric dentistry immediately for an emergency visit.

For a knocked-out tooth, the primary concern is to keep the tooth moist. Make sure when you pick up the tooth that you are not touching the root. First, try to place the tooth back in the socket. If this doesn't work, place the tooth in a glass of milk and then proceed to the dentist's office.

For a cracked tooth, have your child rinse with warm water to remove any debris from the mouth, and then proceed to the dentist. 

Make an Appointment with Your Pediatric Dentistry Today!

If you have any questions about these tips or you want to schedule an appointment, contact us. Dr. Caldwell and the team will be happy to help you. If you are looking for a leading pediatric dentistry, contact us for an appointment. You can also request an appointment online. Our specialty is children's dentistry, so we know how to make your child comfortable with going to the dentist. We look forward to meeting you and your child!