The Importance of Cleanings Before Going Back to School
Your kids going back to school is a hectic time. Your “to do” list is filled with things to accomplish before school starts. Be sure to add dental cleanings for your children to that list. Dental cleanings are an important part of your children’s health.
Why Dental Checkups Are So Important Before School Starts
Summertime is when your kids are unwinding from the past school year. It’s natural to relax the rigid routines that were needed to stay on track in school. Camping trips, picnics, and family outings are times where the kids are snacking and eating sweet treats more than other times of the year, and they may not have taken the time to brush their teeth during this “lax” time of sun and fun. A dental cleaning helps turn around the possible neglect from poor oral health routines that occurred during summer vacation.
Another reason dental cleanings for your kids are so important is that kids with poor oral health will be more likely to miss school or have lower grades. One study found that kids who stated they recently had tooth pain were four times more likely to have a low grade point average. Poor oral health, the same study found, also causes more absences from school.
What Happens During Your Child’s Dental Cleaning
A professional cleaning goes a long way in removing cavity-causing bacteria and helping to keep gum tissue healthy. It also removes most or many stains from teeth.
- First, a physical exam of your child’s entire mouth is performed to check for any signs of gum inflammation (gingivitis) or other potential concerns.
- Then a tool, called a scaler, is used to get rid of plaque and tartar around the gum line and from in between teeth. There is a scraping sound, but that’s normal. The more tartar there is in the mouth, the more time will be needed to scrape clean a particular spot.
- Every cleaning appointment ends with teeth polishing that removes stains and plaque that lingered after regular tooth brushing.
Consequences of Missed Dental Cleanings and Poor Oral Health
If your child were to miss dental cleanings, there are dental problems that can develop such as:
- Tooth decay (dental caries)
- Gum disease
- Tooth loss
- Bone damage
- Halitosis which is bad breath caused by plaque buildup
- Stained teeth
Dental Problem Prevention
Back to school dental health should be maintained well after school starts. Be sure to help your children with brushing and flossing regularly. Be encouraging with reminders that good oral habits keep their smiles looking brand new. Brushing, flossing, and regular dental checkups are essential for a healthy mouth and a beautiful smile.
Good nutritional choices also play an important role in helping your child maintain a healthy mouth. You can cut down on the amounts of sugar your child eats. Also, calcium from dairy products such as milk, cheese, and plain yogurt helps maintain healthy teeth. Notably, hard cheese also aids in neutralizing the acids found in foods that are harmful to tooth enamel. Encourage your youngster to drink plenty of water, especially after eating at school when a toothbrush isn’t handy - it’s healthy and also helps wash away bacteria and any remaining food particles.
Park View Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics is a Manhattan dental practice that’s exclusively focused on children and their unique needs. We create a fun, friendly and welcoming environment kids will look forward to visiting, which makes it easier for children to build strong dental health habits early in life that will last a lifetime. Contact us today by calling (212) 879-6518 or filling out the form on this page.