When it comes to your child’s teeth, summertime isn’t always the healthiest time. There are late nights, sleepovers, vacations, and days filled with ice cream or other sugary treats synonymous with summer break. So as parents begin their long list of back-to-school to-dos like stocking up on school supplies, they should also carve out some time to care for their children’s teeth.
The start of the new school year is the perfect time to reset, get back into a routine, and put your children on the right path. That’s why pediatric dentists advocate for back-to-school check-ups before the demands of the new school year begin.
Dental exams are also essential to your child’s overall health, which could impact his or her performance in school. In fact, according to the American Dental Association, dental examinations are equally as important as immunizations and booster shots. And, with a reported 19 percent of children ages 2 to 19 years old with untreated tooth decay, your child can’t afford to miss a dental examination before heading back to the classroom.
Early Detection is Key
Like any area of health care, early detection with dental problems can go a long way in ensuring your child stays healthy throughout the school year. When neglected and not remedied early, dental problems can be especially painful and may impact every area of your child’s life, including how they perform in the classroom. Cavities, one of the most common dental problems affecting children, can cause serious pain, including trouble eating, speaking, concentrating in class, and even school absences. All of this can lead to poor performance in school as well as other areas of your child’s life.
When you take your child in for a back-to-school dental check-up, they will receive a thorough cleaning from a dental hygienist and inspection from a dentist who will look for cavities, gum disease, and any other signs of dental diseases. A dentist may suggest fluoride treatments or sealants to help prevent cavities from forming in the future.
Maintaining a Healthy Smile
With a recommended two dentist visits a year, much of a child’s oral health is dependent on routine care at home and depending on the child’s age, the responsibility for ensuring good oral health lands with the parents. Here are a few ways parents can ensure their kids avoid cavities and other dental illnesses:
- Regular brushing and flossing – Use toothpaste with fluoride and make sure to change toothbrushes every three months. Have your child brush at least twice a day and floss once.
- Eating a healthy diet – You can’t always control what your child eats but by providing healthy food at home and packing a healthy lunch/snack you can make sure your child eats a balanced diet full of grains, milk, vegetables, and fruits.
- Limit sugar intake – It’s no secret that kids love sugar, but sugar can be abysmal for a child’s oral health, so try to cut back or eliminate sugary foods and soft drinks.
Make sure not to skip your child’s regularly scheduled checkups, and try to plan them around vacations, summer camps, and other activities to ensure that your child still gets the routine cleanings and checkups they need.
With the new school year rapidly approaching, be sure to get your child’s back to school checkup on the books! Schedule an appointment with the team at Babylon Dental care by calling us at (631) 983-6665 or request an appointment with us online today.