School is starting up again. We know parents’ jobs never seem to slow down, so we’ve gathered some tips to help going back to school not get in the away of your kids’ dental hygiene.
Where to Start
· Just before school starts is a great time to get your child in for their routine dental checkup. There is no need to worry about pulling them out of valuable class time, and it is an easy time to remember. Going back to school is like a routine – buy school supplies, make sure the kids have clothes for school, and make sure you take them to the dentist for their checkup.
· Regular dental checkups are the best form of preventative care when it comes to oral hygiene. Any problems can be caught early on, which means that there are more options for remedying the problem, and that means makes it easier on the wallet.
· Buy a new toothbrush – and let your child pick it out! It is time to retire a toothbrush when the bristles are no longer orderly and are instead sprayed. Picking out a toothbrush can be exciting for kids – there are many different options out there that appeal to children and will have them asking to brush their teeth.
· Re-stock other dental supplies. Make sure you have floss in the house. You can even put a piece of floss in your child’s lunch to encourage them to floss after every meal.
· Speaking of lunch, plan and pack your child a healthy lunch. Make sure to include a high-calcium dairy product like milk or cheese. Strawberries are also good for your child’s lunch or snack as they help whiten teeth. Foods that are high in fiber are also great to eat for lunch (High-fiber foods include spinach or beans).But most importantly, pack water for your kids. Water provides hydration for your child’s body which can help prevent bad breath, as well as wash away some of the acid left behind from other foods and liquids to prevent tooth decay.
· Invest in a timer for tooth brushing. Kids often do not brush their teeth long enough. Their concept of time hasn’t developed all the way and they tend to skimp out on quality brushing time. There are a lot of fun toothbrush timers out there that can help add to the fun of oral hygiene routines.
· Reward your kids. When your kids participate in proper oral hygiene routines, it is worth rewarding. Rewarding a child for good behavior is shown to be more beneficial than punishing children for bad behavior. Turn dental hygiene into something fun!
· A good example is to create a chart where a child can place stickers for each part of their oral hygiene routine they completed that day. A perfect day may be rewarded with something like 15 more minutes at the park the next day, or a dollar in the piggy bank.
· Set an example. The most important role of a parent is to be a role model. When kids see their parents participating in oral hygiene routines, it will help them remember to do the same – and make them want to. Not only will your mouth not be left behind in a busy day of to-dos, but it will show kids that even you do it too.