As students start getting settled in for a new school year, Great Expressions Dental Centers (GEDC) wants to make sure important dental health tips are not overlooked during what can be a chaotic time. Dental education is critical at a young age so children are equipped with the knowledge needed to keep their teeth healthy all the way through adulthood.
“As a dentist and father, dental hygiene is always top of mind when it comes to my family, as it should be with all families to make sure their children’s precious smiles are taken care of,” said Dr. Robert Brody, head of the GEDC National Doctor Panel. “During the school year, kids’ schedules fill up with sports, extracurricular activities and homework so it’s important not to overlook dental hygiene. Schedule a visit with your dentist early in the year before things get too hectic.”
Here are some simple, preventative measures to help keep children healthy and happy this school year:
·Dental education. No matter how old your child is, dental hygiene education is always applicable! Teach your child the importance of a routine and why brushing at least twice a day can help prevent issues like cavities down the road. GEDC is launching a contest, ‘Name the GEDC Tooth,’ to name their new tooth character (photo attached), who will be the face of an educational campaign to help make learning about oral hygiene fun for kids. Visitwww.Facebook.com/GreatExpressions with your child to brainstorm a creative name for the chance to win a Samsung tablet & premium dental care package to help your family get into the back-to-school swing.
·Gear up for sports. Now that school has begun students are back to sports, but an injury can take your student athlete out of the game. With the proper protection, like mouth guards, a number of injuries can be prevented. Mouth guards are important in preventing scrapes and cuts to the mouth, gums and cheeks, chipped or fractured teeth and more serious injuries, like fractured jaws and concussions. It’s especially important to have a mouth guard if your child has braces. Be sure to get your student athlete a well-fitted mouth guard (a custom dentist-fitted guard is the best option) before schedules get too busy.
·Add a tooth brush to your shopping list. Folders, check. Notebooks, check. Pencils, check. Add a new toothbrush, toothpaste and dental floss to the school supplies list and pack it in your child’s backpack. It’s always handy to have a toothbrush on hand for after-lunch, food-in-teeth emergencies.
·Encourage healthy snacking. Sugary and starchy foods slowly destroy teeth’s enamel. Every time those foods are consumed an acid bath starts, which lasts 15 minutes. Give your mouth a break and opt for healthy snacks instead of junk food. Stock up on pre-cut fruits, vegetables, cheese and pre-made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to pack in your child’s lunch boxes.
·Drink water. Water is your friend against tooth decay; it plays an important role in removing bacteria from the mouth after meals and snacks. A simple trip to the water fountain after lunch can wash out much of the debris and food residue that bacteria feed off of to form cavities. Also, be sure to stay away from sugary sports drinks and soda!
·Regular visits with your dentist. Be sure to stay on top of scheduling your kid’s six month exams. The dentist is the first line of defense in identifying dental health problems so you can enjoy a healthy smile that will last a lifetime. Also, be thinking about scheduling an appointment with an orthodontist if your child has not seen one and they are over the age of seven. If there are overcrowding or bite issues developing, an orthodontist can talk to you about a treatment plan.