It’s the start of a new school year, and your kids are set with new clothes and school supplies. But don’t forget about oral health! Add these dental health tips to your back-to-school checklist.
- Take your kids to the dentist
Start the school year right with a dental cleaning and exam. Ask your child’s dentist about sealants and fluoride treatments to prevent decay. These treatments are easy ways to stop cavities before they start. And they can even improve your child’s performance at school. A third of children miss school because of oral health problems, according to Delta Dental’s 2015 Children’s Oral Health Survey.
- Pick the right snacks
Swap out lunchbox no-no’s with healthy alternatives. Instead of chips or crackers, try nuts. Salty snacks may seem healthy because they don’t contain sugar, but simple starches can be just as bad. These snacks break down into a sticky goo, coating teeth and promoting decay. Avoid candies and granola bars, offering crunchy snacks like celery sticks, baby carrots, and cubes of cheddar cheese.
- Make brushing and flossing fun
To keep their mouths healthy, kids need to brush twice a day for two minutes at a time. They should also floss every day, preferably after dinner. Try these tricks to make oral hygiene more exciting:
- Use a sticker calendar. Let your kids place stickers on each day to represent brushing and flossing.
- Play music. Collect your kids’ favorite two-minute songs and make sure they brush the whole time.
- Help your child pick a themed toothbrush in his or her favorite color.
- Provide a kid-friendly floss holder. These Y-shaped devices make flossing more comfortable.