While making your list for purchasing school supplies, remember to review the back to school dental checklist below, to ensure your child’s best health and success throughout the upcoming school year.
Using your pediatric back to school dental checklist can help avoid potential absences due to emergency dental appointments that could have been prevented. So, start the school by prioritizing your child’s dental health routine on your back to school To Do List.
1. Review Oral Hygiene Routine
Evaluate your child’s regimen for oral hygiene at the end of the relaxed summer schedule. Make sure that your daily plan for the back to school routine includes having your child brushing for at least two minutes twice daily and flossing. Check your child’s brushing technique and provide any needed additional guidance to ensure that brushing will remove plaque and bacteria.
2. Replace Your Child’s Toothbrush.
According to the American Dental Association, toothbrushes should be replaced after three to four months of use, or sooner if bristles show signs of fraying. The start of the new school year provides a good prompt to remind you to replace toothbrushes. (Winter break and spring break are additional good period markers for toothbrush replacement.)
3. Schedule a Dental Checkup.
Scheduling a dental checkup before the start of the school year helps you keep track of the length of time since your child’s last exam and teeth cleaning. Your child’s dentist will perform a thorough examination, checking for any signs of tooth decay, weak enamel, and cavities that should be treated before school starts. Schedule the exam for at least a month prior to school starting, so any cavities can be filled and other issues addressed without risk of missing any school days.
4. Protect Against Injuries.
Injuries to teeth are a common risk in playing sports, especially in contact sports like soccer, basketball, football, and hockey. If your child participates in school sports practices, or in after-school recreational sports activities, consider obtaining a mouth guard to help protect against dental injuries.
5. Make Healthy Lunches and Snacks.
Packing healthy lunch food items into your child’s lunches is probably already included in your meal planning. But, often, substituting to include foods and beverages that are good for children’s teeth can be overlooked. Some snack items that are better for dental health include string cheeses, vegetables, and fruits. Avoid serving snacks like fruit roll-ups and snack bars that stick to teeth and between teeth. Also, consider packing water or no-sugar beverages, instead of soda or high-sugar fruit drinks.
6. Have an Orthodontist Evaluation.
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children have an examination at age 7. The exam at that age can help your child’s orthodontist set up a personalized plan for your child’s orthodontic care, based on his or her growth rate and unique dental issues, (like a poor bite, overcrowding, etc.). The orthodontist may not suggest braces for a 7-year old, but for an older child who needs braces, it’s best to have them put on the teeth prior to the start of school.
Red Apple Pediatric Dental Team
Your Red Apple dental expert is dedicated to your child’s oral health. If it is time to have a checkup before school start, or any time through the year, contact Red Apple Pediatric Dental Team, Stafford VA, at (540) 318-5577 to make an appointment.