Now that back-to-school season is here, you’ll want to make sure they’re healthy and ready for the new semester. Along with helping them find their classroom and buying their supplies, you should also stay on top of their oral health. The last thing you’d want is for them to experience an urgent situation with their smile. To keep them safe and focused throughout the school year, here are five ways to help your child prevent dental emergencies!
#1: Encourage Proper Oral Hygiene
Your child may have gotten off track with brushing and flossing, especially with all the fun they might have had over the summer. Try to get them back in the habit of cleaning their teeth proper every day, which should involve brushing twice for two minutes and flossing daily. Be sure to also replace their toothbrush every three to four months to keep their cleaning tools effective.
#2: Pack Their Lunch with Healthy Options
While sugary snacks are widely known to cause cavities, they aren’t the only treats to look out for. Foods that are high in carbohydrates and starches can also be harmful to your child’s teeth, such as crackers and chips. Meals that are hard and crunchy can also risk wearing down their enamel or chipping their pearly whites. It’s important to pack their lunch with smile-friendly treats like fresh fruits, cooked veggies, yogurt, and oatmeal instead.
#3: Help Them Refrain From Unhealthy Oral Habits
Does your child like to bite their nails when nervous? Do they often chew on pencils when doing homework? Not only can these habits introduce bacteria into their mouth, but they can increase their chances of damaging their teeth. Make sure to encourage them not to practice these unhealthy oral behaviors, as they can be detrimental to their oral health in the long run.
#4: Protect Their Smile with a Mouthguard
If your child enjoys playing sports where there’s a risk of getting hit in the face, then you might consider investing in athletic mouthguards. These custom-made trays will fit their smile perfectly, providing the protection necessary to avoid a dental emergency. You can also ask your dentist about nightguards for bruxism if your little one tends to clench/grind their teeth, especially while they’re sleeping.
#5: Schedule Their Routine Dental Checkups & Cleanings
The best way to ensure your child’s smile stays strong and healthy is to schedule their dental checkups and cleanings every six months. This gives their dentist a chance to monitor their oral condition and address any developing concerns they may detect. They’ll also thoroughly remove stubborn plaque and stains from their teeth, allowing them to prevent more serious complications later on.
Though dental emergencies aren’t always predictable, it’s important to practice proper steps to minimize your child’s risks. Keep these few tips in mind, and you can be sure to protect their pearly whites this school year!
About the Author
Dr. Jose Aldana earned his dental doctorate from the Texas A&M Baylor College of Dentistry. He’s also a member of several groups like the Texas Dental Association and the American Dental Association. He provides a vast selection of advanced services, including dental checkups and cleanings for children. If you’d like to set up an appointment for your child, visit his website or call him at 214-304-2112.