Notebooks and pencils. Check. Brand new outfits and shoes. Check. Athletic checkups and equipment. Check. Your child’s school year is off to a great start with all of the necessities.
But, wait! What about those teeth?!
Unless there’s a problem that causing distress, the truth is that not enough children receive adequate dental care. Back-to-school is a critical time for giving them a shot at learning and growing at their best. Before your child gets farther into the school year, make a visit to the dentist. Don’t have dental benefits? Most localities have resources to ensure the health of youngsters.
The American Association of Pediatric Dentistry recommends an annual back-to-school dental, and some schools require one. The visit should include a routine cleaning from a hygienist, a check for healthy tooth development by age, and diagnosis of any problems needing follow up care.
Coupled with good brushing and flossing habits at home, the visit to your child’s dentist will have lasting impact. But, there are other considerations for your child’s teeth at the start of the school year. Does he or she play sports that require protective tooth hardware? Is there no protection but still a chance of mouth injury? Teach them to protect their teeth and tongues for the long run.
And, what about those major culprit times like school lunch with daily doses of too much sugar? The facts are that, even with your best lunch-packing (with fruits like oranges and strawberries, yogurt, and grains), unsolicited snacks and candy will find their way into your child’s school day. Those long days of reading, writing, and arithmetic also represent several hours a day where no brushing occurs. Be sure to encourage brushing after snacks and dinner at home.
The school year is here! Taking these tips to heart will save you and your child undue stress, pain, and an even better school experience.