What Back to School Means for Your Teeth

I can’t believe back-to-school season is here again! A new school year means fresh supplies, new friends, and lots of learning. But what does back to school mean for your teeth? As we head into the school season, here are a few things to remember about both you and your child’s dental health.

Your Dental Supply List. Along with crayons, binders, and pencils; toothbrushes and floss should also be on your school supply list! Your toothbrush should be replaced every three to four months or whenever the bristles show wear, whichever comes first. Grab a few soft bristle toothbrushes at the store for each member of the family. That way, you’ll have enough to get through the whole school year.

Don’t forget the floss! Are you and your family flossing regularly? This is the perfect time to start. Cleaning between your teeth helps prevent gum disease and tooth decay. If you’re not a fan of traditional dental floss, pick up a pack or two of single-use flossers to try out, or you can invest in a water flosser to get debris from in between your teeth. Remember, while these alternatives are better than not flossing at all, traditional dental floss is still the most effective and economic interdental cleaner.

Snack for Your Teeth. All this learning and playing works up big appetites. Is your pantry stocked with after-school snacks that are high in fiber and low in sugar? Think about cutting out the sugary sodas and juices from the rotation to prevent cavities, and make sure everybody stays nice and hydrated!

Get Fitted for a Mouthguard. Back to school means back to sports! A mouthguard should be an essential part of any sports uniform. If your children are planning on participating in any sports this year, get them fitted for a mouthguard. Mouthguards that are custom-fitted by a dentist are much more effective at preventing injury than those that are ready-made.

According to the American Dental Association, sports-related injuries make up about one-third of all dental injuries. Mouthguards could prevent over two hundred thousand injuries each year from sports such as football, soccer, and hockey. Mouthguards may also reduce serious injuries, including concussions.

Be Prepared. While preventative measures are always best, sometimes dental emergencies do happen. Playground accidents, sports injuries, or just general horseplay can send your child to the dentist with issues like chipped, cracked, or knocked-out teeth. You can prepare for dental emergencies by always having your dentist’s contact information on hand. Also, check to see what your dentist’s office recommends if an emergency occurs outside of business hours (because somehow they always do!).

Set Up an Appointment. Check in to make sure you are up-to-date with your dental appointments. It’s recommended that you see the dentist a least twice a year. Six months can fly by fast, so double-check to be sure both you and your kids have had an appointment recently. If it’s about time for your next appointment, call as soon as possible. The back-to-school season is a very busy time for most dentists, and appointments can fill up fast!

Use these simple tips to get an A+ in oral health all year long!