Summer has once again passed more quickly than most of us would have liked, and the kids are now heading back to school. You may be thinking about what clothes, school supplies and sports equipment your children need for this upcoming academic year, but don't forget about their oral health and the tools that they'll need to maintain it.
Establishing a routine
If your children have been away from home all summer, they may have gotten bit lax with their teeth cleaning routine. Set a schedule for your children to brush and floss their teeth twice a day. This will help them develop good habits that they will hopefully continue later in life.
Packing a healthy lunch
A diet low in sugary foods and sodas will help to prevent enamel erosion and tooth decay. Cheese, raw vegetables, yogurt and fruit are all good lunch and snack items that will not harm teeth. If your children eat in the school cafeteria, review healthy, balanced food choices with them and explain why choosing those options are good for their overall health.
Make sure your children are scheduled for their regular examinations with a general dentist. He or she will diagnose any dental problems that could potentially affect your child's ability to perform in or out of school. The dentist will also discuss preventive measures, such as dental sealants that can prevent decay.
If you have not done so already, you should also schedule an appointment with an orthodontist. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children should be assessed for whether or not they need orthodontic braces no later than age 7.