Back to School Dental Health Tips

Back to school is just around the corner! Start the school year off with a healthy smile. Now is the perfect time to schedule your child’s teeth cleaning and evaluation for cavities.

The summer time offers the flexibility to schedule before our Northern friends return and calendars becomes bogged down with after school activities, meetings and homework. A dental prophylaxis (cleaning and Fluoride treatment) improve the dental health of your child. Bitewing radiographs are recommended once a year to check for cavities between the teeth where the dentist can not see. Your dentist can diagnose not only decay, but also determine if orthodontic (braces or Invisalign) treatment would be beneficial.

The dental team can also encourage your child to adopt healthy habits. Children with diets high in candy, soda, and other sweets are more likely to develop cavities. Healthy snacks and drinks can reduce the susceptibility to dental decay. Many times high Fluoride tooth pastes and mouth rinses are recommended to prevent decay. Encourage your children to brush after meals and before bedtime!

It is important to diagnose dental decay early to minimize the chances of sensitivity and painful teeth. If your child mentions they are having a problem with a tooth, it is important to see a dentist immediately. Cavities typically start without symptoms. If you wait until a dark hole in the tooth is visible, this may lead to costly nerve treatments and crowns.

Children in the fall typically participate in contact sports like soccer, football and baseball. Mouth guards are highly recommended to prevent painful and costly injuries to the teeth. Over the counter mouth guards can be made. Custom mouth guards fabricated by a dentist are more comfortable and more likely to be worn by a child.

Many teenagers are concerned with there appearance. A smile is an integral part of one’s self esteem. Whitening procedures can improve the appearance of a young persons smile. Both tray whitening and light activated (laser and Zoom whitening) are safe ways to brighten a smile. Your dentist can also determine if your teenager’s wisdom teeth need to be removed.

Parent’s can help children to a life of good dental health by setting examples for their children. Show your children that you brush and floss each night before bed to help prevent decay and gum problems. Parents can help children to choose smart snacks such as vegetables and nuts, along with avoiding sodas, sweet teas and energy drinks. Parents can schedule their dental appointments with their children to show a child that a preventive cleaning is not a threatening experience.

Our lives are very hectic particularly once school starts. Dental emergencies can become an inconvenience for the entire family. A preventive visit to the dentist during the summer can many times prevent dental problems from occurring. A healthy smile is a smart start to the school year.

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