Starting the school year right means getting your kids the supplies they need, buying new clothes, making sure their vaccinations are up to date and taking care of their dental health. In this blog, the dentists at Park View Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics offer tips to help your child start the school year off right by keeping their teeth, mouth, gums, and smile looking and feeling good.
Make a dental appointment
Oral health is an important part of your child’s overall health, and dental problems can lead to missed days of school. The start of the school year is a good time to remember to take your child to a pediatric dentist for a teeth cleaning and exam.
This will ensure that any issues are detected as early as possible and can be addressed before they get worse. You can also ask about sealants, fluoride treatments, and other ways to help protect your child’s teeth.
Pick healthy snacks and drinks
What you pack in your children’s lunches or feed them after school can have a big impact on their dental health. Starchy snacks such as crackers or chips may seem harmless, but they break down into a sticky substance that coats your child’s teeth and promotes cavities.
Fruit snacks and rollups are also poor choices since they stick to your child’s teeth and encourage the growth of plaque. Instead, give your child some slices of real fruit. Finally, when you’re providing a beverage, plain milk is preferable to flavored, sugary milks or juices.
Encourage brushing and flossing
Children would rather be doing many things other than brushing and flossing, so you’ll need to make sure they’re getting the job done effectively. Injecting a little levity into your kids’ oral care routine can help make them more likely to spend enough time on their oral hygiene. Try the following ways to make teeth cleaning at home little more fun:
- Let your child make choices: Let your children choose toothbrushes they can personalize or that have their favorite characters on it. Then let them pick out a kid-friendly flavor of toothpaste, like bubblegum or strawberry.
- Provide a floss holder: Most kids find a Y-shaped floss holder easier to manipulate than a regular spool of floss.
- Use sticker calendars: Let your children put stickers on a calendar for each day to symbolize brushing and flossing. You can even offer a small reward when a month’s worth of days are filled up.
- Play music: Child-friendly songs that last about two minutes will encourage your child to brush the right amount of time while increasing the fun factor.
- Join them: Brushing and flossing alongside your child will help model good dental care, and they’ll enjoy spending time with you.
To make a back-to-school teeth cleaning appointment for your child’s dental needs, contact Park View Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics in Manhattan today. We’re one of the area’s first dental practices devoted exclusively to children’s needs and have been leading the way in gentle dental care for more than 25 years. Call (212) 879-6518 today or fill out the form on this page to request an appointment.