BACK TO SCHOOL ALREADY? GET YOUR KID'S SMILE READY FOR THE NEW YEAR!
We knew this time was coming....the end of summertime fun and back to school for the kids (and our teacher friends, too!) While most kids are thinking of new clothes and new school supplies, it's also an ideal time for parents to make an appointment with the dentist for their back-to-school check up.
While regular check ups help keep kid's smiles bright and healthy, here are some tips parent's can follow to maintain year-round oral health:
1) Schedule a trip to the dentist. (Preferably North Palm Beach Dentistry!) Getting an exam taken care of at the beginning of the school year will save you the hassle of scheduling a visit to the dentist around school hours or after-school activities. Add a dental exam to your back-to-school preparation list: new clothes, school supplies and a dental exam!
2) Make a dental care kit for school. Brushing after lunch is the new standard. A dental care kit should at least contain a toothbrush, toothpaste and dental floss. Let your son or daughter pick the bag, just make sure it has a zipper enclosure and plastic lining and fits easily into a backpack.
3) Start a reward system. If your kids get a good report at the dentist, treat it as an accomplishment. Rewards don't have to be extravagant or expensive: make a giant tooth or star and hang it on the fridge for little ones, plan a trip to the movies for teens or just let your kids stay up an hour later.
4) Buy new toothbrushes. Make oral hygiene fun by starting off the new school year with new toothbrushes. Younger kids can pick out their own toothbrush with designs of their favorite cartoon character, glitter, stars, etc. Older kids might enjoy the switch to an electric toothbrush (more adult!).
5) Replace sodas and sports drinks with water. Most soda, sports or energy drinks and even "vitamin" waters are loaded with sugar. Give your kids bottled water to take to school. For an eco-friendly option, get them reusable water bottles--some even have built in filters!
6) Get custom made mouthguards. Have your family dentist (or Dr. Perella) create custom made mouthguards for your kids to wear during gym class or after-school activities. This simple device can protect their teeth from being broken or knocked out by a ball, a fall, or rough play.
7) Give your kids healthy snacks. Instead of cookies, chips or packaged snacks that contain cavity-causing sugars, give your kids wholesome goodies like fresh fruit, low-salt nuts, celery or carrot sticks, and even cottage cheese or low-fat plain yogurt to eat at home or school.
8. Brace your kids for braces. Young teens may find out that they need braces. While this can be traumatic for some, there are now many braces options that look better and take less time. Be sure to get informed about speed braces and Invisalign--two popular choices for teens today.
Whether you celebrate it or lament it, going back to school is a great time to start a new dental routine. Let North Palm Beach Dentistry be a part of your back to school plans!