With the new school year, comes lots of shopping. Your kids will need new supplies, backpacks, and colorful folders to keep themselves excited and organized in the coming year. If you live in Loudoun County, then your kids have already started school and are (hopefully) gleefully showing off their new supplies and are finding their new teacher who will teach them until Summer, but there is something that they don’t teach that is vitally important to your child this school year: healthy dental care.
It seems like a no-brainer, but nearly 20% of children will have untreated tooth decay as they go through the school year! Having an unhealthy mouth can lead to serious problems, causing difficulty in speaking, eating, and playing, and we know nobody cares about your children’s school experience more than you. There are 3 steps that will help to keep your children’s mouths healthy this school year.
- Schedule regular dental examinations with your dentist
This of course goes without saying. You should see your dentist as often as he/she requires you too, but in case you’re not sure, you and your children should have a checkup twice yearly. Try to schedule this appointment before the school year, so any unexpected cavities or other little problems can be taken care of before the hustle and bustle of a new school year! Also, if you have multiple children and one feels uneasy about the dentist, consider having the more experienced one go first so he/she can show their sibling that there’s nothing to worry about.
- Brush your teeth regularly
Again, this an obvious step. You and your children should brush your teeth two or three times a day with fluoride toothpaste in order to maintain good dental health. Depending on the age of your children, they might not want to brush their teeth that often. For younger children, you tshould take into consideration the times when they’re happier (maybe their fussy in the morning) and not schedule their teeth brushing during nap time. For older children, they just might not want to, but there are two times that studies show an uptick in cavities: in early childhood and teenage years. Help your children establish good brushing habits, so they can take them into adulthood.
- Eat healthy foods
Most people know this step, but it is usually not the first one to come to mind. We all know that sugary and acidic foods can harm your teeth if you let them. ‘An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure’ so they say. Simply packing your children’s lunches with good foods, like whole grains, cheeses, fruits and raw vegetables, or coaching them on which foods they should avoid like cookies and soda will greatly help them in their dental health and also in their overall physical health!
At the end of the day, the beginning of the school year is all about your children and making sure that they’re ready for the year to come. You do a great job in making sure they have all the tools they need to succeed in school, but you cannot forget all the tools they need to be healthy! After all, healthy kids are happier and perform better in all things including sports and school. If you need help in setting up your school year appointments or just have any questions about what sort of foods to avoid, don’t hesitate to email us or call (703) 537-5442.