There is something about a bright smile that brings great confidence. If you have school aged children, you understand first hand how important confidence is at that vulnerable age. That first day of school creates lasting impressions with old friends, new classmates, and even teachers! Give your kids that extra confidence boost with a back to school dental visit. While regular dental visits are important year around, back to school season is a great opportunity for your child’s annual check up and cleaning. It is also an excellent time to implement some great oral health habits. Below are some tips to add to your back to school checklist.

Plan Ahead

Did you know that one third of children miss school at some point throughout the year due to oral health problems? Mouth pain leads to lack of concentration in the classroom and missing school means making up work and parents taking time off of work to accommodate the dental visits. Planning ahead and ensuring your child’s oral health is in prime condition prior to the start of school is an easy way to avoid such issues. Not only will a healthy smile increase confidence, but it could ultimately impact grades as well! The start of school is typically a busy time for dental offices, so after your appointment, schedule your next year’s back to school dental visit. 

Healthy After School Snacks

Our country has had an extra long summer this year filled with home stays and hurricane snacks. (Time for cavity checks!) The majority of households became much more lenient over the past few months on choice of snacks for the kiddos and themselves! The start of the school year is the perfect time to start fresh and implement some healthy snack routines for both during and after school. Healthy snacks such as apples with peanut butter, berries, oats, etc are not only great for oral health but are great for overall brain health. Help your little ones keep a clear head and refocus on getting that school work done with an improved and nutritious diet. 

Limit the sports drinks

If your child is involved in sports or simply loves being active, sports drinks are probably at the top of their list for go-to beverages. Unfortunately, sports drinks can pose a major threat to overall oral health and may not be the best choice. Most sports drinks, like other beverages known to damage or discolor teeth, are perfectly fine in moderation but overtime the amount of sugar and acids can take a toll on your oral health. An average 32 ounce sports drink typically contains between 56 and 76 grams of sugar. This alone is 4-6 times the recommended daily amount for children and teenagers. Yes, they may be filled with minerals and electrolytes that can help replenish the body and hold other benefits like preventing cramps and dehydration, but these drinks typically include more sugar than the average soda. Sugar and what it leaves behind in your mouth is a leading source of both cavities and tooth decay. 

If you can’t put down the sports drinks, remember moderation is key! There are even certain things you can do like drinking water immediately after, using a straw to bypass your teeth, and maintaining a healthy oral routine that includes a fluoride toothpaste can minimize damage overtime. 

Take advantage of the start of school to address this critical time in your child’s dental health. Teaching your child about self care and accountability while implementing some healthy lifestyle routines within the household will help keep them on track for the best possible oral health. 

It’s not too late to schedule your back to school dental visit! Contact Guilliot Family Dental today.