Believe it or not, the most common chronic disease among young people aged 5 to 17 is dental decay. As a parent, you can play a big role in helping your child achieve and maintain a beautifully healthy smile throughout the school year.

Beyond their regular visits to the Advanced Dentistry, here are some helpful oral health tips for school days…

1. Provide smile-friendly snacks

Apples, carrot sticks, and cheese are not only healthy for the body, but also for your child’s smile. Easy to carry in a backpack, these snacks can provide a nice boost in between classes or after school. You will also want to limit access to soda and sugary drinks by ensuring water and non-sugary drinks are readily available. Your wallet and your dentist will thank you.

2. Guard their mouth

Although basketball is the number one sport for dental injuries, players are not required to wear a mouthguard. Regardless of the sport your child may be playing on the playground or on a team, if there is potential for contact, we recommend a mouthguard with the ADA Seal of Approval. Displaced teeth during sports competition are common and costly.

3. Pack healthy lunches

Because school lunches do not always offer teeth healthy foods, you may want to pack your child’s lunch at least a few times a week. White milk, real fruits, hard-boiled eggs, cheese, and veggies are all healthy smile builders. You may not be able to completely eliminate all foods that negatively impact oral health, but you can limit them by providing healthy lunch choices.

4. Skip tongue piercings

“But all the cool kids are doing it!” Tongue piercings may be cool to some, but they also present many potential oral health issues. Beyond the increased possibility of infection, chipped teeth can happen while chewing, talking, and even sleeping.  Unless you want to spend money on your child’s tooth repair, skip the oral piercings.

5. Daily brushing and flossing

Yes, it always comes back to the basics with Dr. Blank. Brush twice daily. Floss regularly. Swish with cavity fighting mouthwash. No matter how busy they get, please make sure they get up early enough before school to complete their daily oral care habits.

With school in full swing, now is the time to help ensure your children are developing good, consistent oral healthcare habits. The more you do to sustain healthy teeth now, the less you’ll spend fixing dental problems in the future. If you want to learn more about helping your child develop and maintain a beautifully healthy smile, please contact the Advanced Dentistry team today.