Healthy Dental Tips Blog

Back-to-School Habits for Healthy Teeth & Safe Mouths

Posted by Therese Vannier, RDA/OMSA on Sep 6, 2016 8:30:00 AM

shutterstock_313990658_2.jpgChildhood tooth decay is largely preventable, but it remains one of the most common diseases of kid-hood—five times as common as asthma, and seven times as common as hay fever, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Tooth decay is a serious problem and can result in severe pain, infection, and tooth loss. As your honor roll student returns to school, send them off with good habits for healthy teeth and a safe mouth.

What to drink

Everybody's doing it. High energy drinks, monster drinks, and sports drinks are gaining popularity among children and teens. These sugary drinks can cause a mouthful of decay and should be avoided. Provide your little darling with a bottle full of cool, clear, water instead of cavity-causing beverages. If your child is permitted to consume tooth-rot drinks, have them rinse their mouth with water immediately afterwards. Flushing with water will help wash away remaining sugars and acids, and stop them from attacking tooth enamel.

What to eat

Studies indicate that only one in five school-age children eats the recommended five daily servings of fruits and vegetables. Show the apple of your eye that you care and pack healthy lunches and snacks. Bite-sized carrots, fruits, nuts, and bottled water are much better snack options than cavity-causing candy bars. Whole foods provide the fuel kids need to excel in physical and mental activity.

What to brush with

Children who brush with a fluoridated toothpaste will have less tooth decay. Twice a day use increases the benefit. Ask your pediatric dentist about fluoride treatment. 

What to pack

Pack a fun back-to-school toothbrush, travel size toothpaste, and floss in a zip-loc bag. Encourage brushing for two minutes after lunch.

What to wear

Just as helmets help protect your child’s head from trauma, mouth guards protect your most valuable player’s teeth from serious injury. Sports guards can help prevent an avulsed (knocked-out) tooth. Ask your pediatric dentist for injury-preventing solutions. 

 What to ask your dentist

Sealants protect tooth surfaces from decay. Talk with your pediatric laser dentist about no-drill dental sealants.

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