Once again it’s time for crayons, books and bright pencils – and new toothbrushes! Back to school 2020, means parents are faced with the usual chaos, plus the unique challenges brought on by Covid-19.
Maintaining your child’s health is on every parent’s mind and that should include dental health. Staying on top of their oral health, stopping decay and fixing dental problems, will help your child stay focused in school and give them the confidence to share their best smile.
Poor Oral Health Takes Its Toll On Students And Grades
Untreated oral health problems can cause discomfort, making it difficult for kids to concentrate. When a child has serious tooth decay, it can affect overall health and lead to problems eating, speaking and learning. Dental issues can also have an impact on their self esteem and desire to smile.
Seeing the dentist for their preventative appointment is essential for many reasons. Dental fillings have a tendency to fail long term and when replaced can lead to a cascade of larger issues that will present into their adulthood. Children that make it to adulthood cavity free will have a much higher chance of staying cavity free.
There’s also a large misconception that it’s OK for baby teeth to get cavities because the teeth eventually fall out. THIS IS SO NOT TRUE! The bacteria that cause tooth decay does not just disappear when the baby teeth with cavities fall out. The bacteria persists in your kid’s mouth, making the new adult teeth more prone to decay. In addition to having the decayed teeth filled by your dentist, it is important to properly brush and floss.
3-Essential Back to School Dental Tips
- If you haven’t made a back to school check up appointment yet, do it now. It’s always been important, but it’s even more so now. Most parents are anxious about their kid’s missing classes over the past few months. They will have more trouble catching up if they develop a dental problem.
- Make sure you are packing a healthy tooth-friendly diet in their lunch box. Instead of chips and crackers- avoid starchy salty foods that are as unhealthy as sugar. Both sugars and starch become sticky goo that coats teeth and invites decay. Veggies such as celery and baby carrots are great crunchy treats!
- The pandemic most definitely put a damper in our routines. It’s important to help our kids get back on schedule with brushing twice a day for 2 minutes and flossing once a day. Plus, we all know the horrors of bad breath while wearing a mask! Let’s help our kids maintain fresh breath, which indicates a nice healthy mouth!
In spite of their best efforts, kids that are 10 years old and under may not yet have the fine motor skills to brush properly and may need your help. Especially pay close attention to children that are 5 and 6 years old; they may not be giving proper attention to their brand new molars. As a mom, I tell my children that if they want to eat candy, they have to let mom do the brushing once a day to keep the cavities away!
We wish you and your families a healthy and productive school year!