Back to School Oral Health Checklist

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Though your child is up to date with their wardrobe, sports equipment, and school supplies, they still need to have a healthy mouth and all the oral tools to maintain it, to be set for school. Oral health for your child is crucial since it is during these tender years that teeth undergo development and any miscalculation on your part could cause your child to have defective teeth as adults.

The American Dental Association suggests that dental examinations are as crucial as booster shots and immunizations and should be part of your back to school preparations. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children in the U.S. suffer more from tooth decay than from any chronic infectious disease. CDC further claims that 19% of children between the age of 2 and 19 suffer from untreated tooth decay. Dental disease and pain can result in difficulty eating, speaking, learning, playing and a lot of time out of school.

As you prepare to take your child back to school this fall, the health of their teeth should be on the top of your list. Here are some helpful tips that will guide you in ensuring you do not overlook your child's oral health.

Dental Examinations

Seeing the dentist on a regular basis is necessary for diagnosing, treating, and preventing dental problems. Sometimes, dental problems go unnoticed and when left to progress, they cause serious complications. Visiting a dentist helps catch those hidden tooth problems before they become severe. A Houston Pediatric dentist may suggest sealants or fluoride treatments for preventing decay. Your dentist may also diagnose and treat other dental conditions that will save your kid from pain and missed classes.

Oral Care Practices

It is important to train your child on healthy oral care practices. The 2x2 rule of brushing is an important oral lesson for your child. This means brushing for two minutes and doing it twice a day. Flossing is also important for removing hidden food particles. Furthermore, you need to ensure you use fluoride toothpaste to fight cavities and plaque. A Houston Pediatric dentist may also advice you to buy several tooth brushes for your child. It is healthy practice for your child to switch to a new toothbrush after every three months or after they suffer from an illness. To remind you to change your child's toothbrush, switch them whenever their report cards are released. To be on the safe side, consult your doctor on the ideal time to change toothbrushes.

A Healthy Diet

The food and drinks that your child takes play an important role in the condition of their teeth. You should ensure they avoid sugary and starchy foods as these are known to promote cavities and weaken teeth. To keep them from the temptation of taking soda or other sugary drinks, have them carry a water bottle to school. Water helps rid the mouth of food debris and keeps bacteria from invading the teeth.

Insist on healthy snacks and lunches. Some of the items to include in your child's lunch are milk, grains, cheese, yogurt, raw vegetables, and fruit. If your child gets their food from the school cafeteria, pick healthy foods for them before their first day in school.

Mouth Guards

One of the measures you can take to prevent injury when your child is engaging in PE classes, playground activities, or sports, is to have them wear a mouth guard to school. There are also customized mouth guards for kids who wear braces.

Oral health for your kids is as important as general body health. As you prepare your child to go back to school this fall, do not forget to take measures to ensure they keep their teeth healthy. Consult your local Houston Pediatric dentist for advice and to address any concerns you have about your child's oral condition.