Back to School Dental Care Tips
No matter the age of your children, a healthy smile leads to a happier and more confident outlook. That’s why, to get the most out of the upcoming school year, you may want to make sure your kids are following the best practices for dental care… and keep that confident smile all year long!
Of course, as parents, you can help make this happen by encouraging kids to brush twice a day for two minutes and floss once a day.
Here are a few more tips for specific age groups from the ADA (American Dental Association):
Ages 6 and Under
At this age, your child might want to do all the brushing herself but doesn’t have the fine motor skills needed to do a thorough job. Let them start and jump in when needed. During that age, the mouth is changing so much that children who are five or six are often brushing their teeth in the way they were when they were two or three. But that means they may not be accommodating their new molars, and the fact that their mouth is growing.
By now, your child knows what to do, she just might not want to. Keep encouraging healthy brushing and flossing habits. Be aware of the fact that sometimes you have to take over a little bit more. By the time they’re teenagers, they’re starting to understand self-care and the good and bad consequences and take accountability for their actions.
This is a critical time for dental health. When you look at research for when cavities appear in kids, it tends to be in young kids. But another increase in cavity rates takes place during the teenage years and early adulthood. Part of this has to do with the fact that teenagers may have gone for many years and never had a cavity. They don’t necessarily take care of their teeth because they don’t see the consequence of not doing so.
Regular dental visits are important year-round, but a back-to-school checkup can be key in fighting the most common chronic disease found in school-age children: cavities. In fact, dental disease causes children to miss more than 51 million school hours each year!
If you haven’t already done so, make your appointment with the professionals at Longmeadow Family Dental Care and you’ll know you’ve done your part in giving your children the best start to the new school year!