Can you believe it's already back-to-school time again? Along with stocking up on school supplies and the fall's latest fashions, health checkups are an important part of preparing for the school year. The typical items include routine physicals, immunizations, hearing and vision tests.
Many people may not think of scheduling a back-to-school dentist visit, but a dental exam is just as important as booster shots or new glasses. Unlike other sicknesses, tooth decay is an infectious disease which doesn't have an immunization. Therefore, it's best to uncover problems that can be treated in the early stages, when damage is minimal and restorations are small. Here's a back-to-school checklist to ensure your child is smiling bright in their class photo:
1. Schedule regular dental checkups and preventative care
Your dentist can diagnose and treat dental problems to save your child pain and lost school time. They may also may suggest fluoride treatments or sealants to prevent decay.
These habits also help prevent tooth decay. It's recommended to change to a new toothbrush about every three months, or after an illness. (One suggestion to help you remember is to change out your child's toothbrush every time a report cards come out.) Floss picks are a great option that make flossing fun and easy for children.
3. Provide healthy lunches and snacks
Talk with your children about healthy food and drink choices. When possible, include fruits and vegetables in their lunches and remember to cut back on sugary drinks and foods.
The new school year is full of new routines, so it's the perfect time to incorporate good dental habits. As always, it's best to check with your dentist for specific recommendations for your children. But, following these basic guidelines will help ensure they start school with a sparkling smile and maintain it all year round.