The start of August means one thing for parents; school is almost back in session. And with the new school year about to get under way, there are several tasks that parents will be undertaking to say goodbye to summer and get ready for fall. Some of these tasks include back-to-school shopping and haircuts. What many parents don’t consider is their childs oral health.
A good smile can have several advantages for anyone. Studies have shown that a smile is the first thing that people notice about someone. Having an attractive smile is also huge for a person’s self-image. When children head back to school, they get back into a routine. That makes early August the perfect time to incorporate healthy oral habits.
Back-to-School Dental Visit
Everyone should schedule visits to the dentist twice a year, but this is even more important for school-age children as there is still great change going on in their mouths. The major change is that the children are losing their baby teeth and preparing for their permanent teeth to come in. Tooth decay is the most common chronic childhood disease and, if left untreated, can cause troubles eating, speaking, sleeping, and even learning. If decay invades the child’s mouth forcing baby teeth to be removed before they are ready, it could result in permanent teeth coming in and filling those empty spots which could cause overcrowding. Later on this could force orthodontic problems requiring the child to seek more orthodontic treatment than would have been previously required.
Studies have shown that more than 60% of children don’t see the dentist annually. This is the root of tooth decay becoming so prevalent in children. Taking your child twice a year to the dentist for a cleaning will ensure that they won’t fall into the decay problems that many children do. And while you’re already completing so many back-to-school chores, it’s the perfect time to schedule a dental visit.
Establish Healthy Brushing Habits
The best way to have your child practice healthy oral habits is to get them to start brushing their teeth early. Many children see brushing as a chore in which they refuse to take part. However, there are always ways that you can make brushing fun. Making brushing fun will convince the child to continue doing so on a regular basis which will help their oral hygiene going forward.
Starting healthy brushing habits early in childhood is a good idea for multiple reasons. One is that oral health during early childhood is critical for future oral health. Tooth decay at a young age can cause future problems that are difficult to overcome. Another reason is that children develop habits in early childhood that they take with them into the future. If a child learns to brush his or her teeth regularly, it will become a routine and they will take those habits with them throughout their life.
Part of maintaining good oral health includes good nutrition. Failure to eat the recommended five daily servings of fruits and vegetables increases the risk of cavities. National studies have shown that only one in five children eat the recommended five servings and the same number meet the minimum standards for calcium consumption. To ensure that your child is meeting these health requirements, consider packing them a healthy lunch for school and for after school. Many children go straight from school to after-school sporting activities. If they don’t have healthy after-school snacks, they might turn to sugary foods and drinks as there are no other options, which can be disastrous to the child’s health. Packing healthy snacks such as bite-sized carrots, fruits, nuts, and bottled water are a much better option to go with. These healthy snacks will also give the child the energy needed to be successful in their physical activity.
With the start of August comes the new school year, and each new school year brings an excellent opportunity to improve the oral health of your children. By establishing healthy oral habits and scheduling regular dental visits, you’ll be setting them up for future success when it comes to oral hygiene.