A regular part of back-to-school preparations should include a child’s oral health. While a child needs new clothes, school supplies, and shots, a trip to the dentist is equally important. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, tooth decay affects children of the U.S. more than any other chronic infectious disease and 19 percent of children ages 2 to 19 years old have untreated tooth decay. To prevent tooth decay, make sure your child is following the C&C Dentistry back-to-school checklist.
- Regular dental checkups are important. In order to prevent tooth decay and other dental problems, schedule a dental appointment for your child at least once a year. If you notice your child is experiencing dental problems, increase your visits to twice a year.
- Athletes need special attention. Tell your child to wear a properly-fitting mouth guard while participating in physical education classes or recess. Dental issues tend to rise when your child is involved in sports. Open mouth breathing occurs during intense exercise but dries out your mouth, reduces saliva flow, and creates an environment for bacteria to thrive. Athletes lean towards hydrating with sports drinks or energy drinks, however they contain sugars and acids that damage your smile, which leads us to our next point.
- Talk to your child about the importance of consuming a healthy diet. You can’t see what your child eats while away from home, so review healthy lunch choices or pack a healthy lunch and snacks for them. Examples include vegetables, yogurt, fruit, and grains.
- Practice regular brushing and flossing with your child. Use fluoride toothpaste when you brush and change to a new toothbrush every three months, or after an illness.
Have your child start the school year with a healthy smile and schedule an appointment for your child at C&C Dentistry today!