Six Dental Health Care Tips for Children and Teens as They Return to School

As your children return to school, there are several dental care tips that you should understand to keep them from developing tooth decay, bad breath or gum disease.

Tip 1: Consuming a Nutritious Diet

Your children should consume a nutritious diet rather than eating low-quality foods such as candy or potato chips. A good daily diet includes vegetables, such as broccoli, and fruits, such as bananas. A child also requires protein from meat or plants along with calcium from dairy foods such as yogurt or cheese. Rather than buying white rice or bread, choose whole-grain breads and pasta along with brown rice. Provide water at meals rather than giving a child sugary beverages such as soft drinks.

Tip 2: Learn How to Brush Properly

Before your child or teen returns to school, buy a new toothbrush along with toothpaste. Memorial City Dentistry has noticed younger children tend to want to brush more when they have a toothbrush with a cartoon character on the handle. Teach your child how to brush properly by wetting the bristles, applying a small amount of toothpaste and brushing each tooth to remove food particles and bacteria. You and your child/teen should brush your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes before rinsing your mouth with water.

Tip 3: Floss Teeth Each Day

It is also essential to floss the teeth at least once a day because there are bacteria and food particles that collect along the gums and between the teeth. Some older children are able to use strand dental floss to remove plaque, but a younger child may prefer using a dental pick that has a small section of floss. If your child is unable to floss correctly, then you may need to perform this oral care task yourself to keep your child from having dental health issues.

Tip 4: Avoiding Bad Habits

Bad habits such as sucking the fingers, chewing on pencils or biting the fingernails can damage a child’s teeth. Children with these bad habits should learn other ways to release their anxiety. Parents can discourage bad habits by applying a foul-tasting solution to the fingernails or by making sure that a child/teen isn’t experiencing stress.

Tip 5: Add Fluoride Rinses

Some cities add fluoride to a community’s water, but Houston, Texas no longer has fluoride in the public water. We recommend that you purchase a fluoride rinse from a local drugstore. These fluoride rinses are similar to mouthwash, and fluoride is a substance that strengthens a child’s dental enamel to resist the decay that is caused by bacteria.

Tip 6: Visit a Dentist Every Six Months

One of the best things that you can do for your child before school begins is to have a dental checkup to find any oral health problems. When a child has a cavity or requires special treatments for gingivitis, it is easier to manage these issues during the summer vacation. You can also have a mouth guard made by a dentist so that your child can participate in sports. Memorial City Dentistry also offers cleanings for your child’s teeth to remove any hardened plaque that can cause halitosis or cavities.

Why Is Oral Health Important?

Having healthy teeth and gums can make it easier for your child to learn in school because he isn’t trying to cope with pain in his mouth. At night, your child will sleep better when he has strong teeth along with healthy gums. Additionally, your child or teen is less likely to miss a day of school for an emergency dental appointment to have a large cavity filled with they regularly practice oral health habits.