The first day of school tends to sneak up on you unexpectedly. You have the best intentions to have everything planned and ready well in advance and the next thing you know it is the last week of August! Whether you are sad to see your children go, or anxious to get them back to the classroom, there are many things you need to do to prepare for their first day of school. You’ve got your checklist for new clothes, school supplies, and maybe even a meal plan for their lunches. However, many parents forget to make preparations to keep their teeth and mouths healthy when the new school year arrives. Here is our quick back-to-school checklist to keep your children’s mouths and smiles healthy this school year.
At Treehouse Dental Care, we recommend having your regular dental exams set up to coincide with the return to school. This works well for a few reasons. First, it is easy to remember. Second, it can be done just before classes start so you don’t have to take them out of school. Of course, we do offer convenient hours to suit your busy schedule, but it’s always nice to not have to worry about schedules in the summer!
We can also make sure to manage any issues they might have before they return to school. Since dental issues and pain can interfere with eating, speaking, learning, and even playing, you want to know they will be returning to school feeling ready to get back into the swing of things. Some treatments we recommend to keep your child’s teeth healthy for the school year might include:
- Sealants to protect against decay
- Mouthguard for athletes
Dental Back-to-School Checklist
Your child’s back-to-school checklist should include:
- Dental Hygiene: Your child’s routine can get a little out of sync over the summer months. Begin early to get their dental hygiene schedule back in check. Make sure they are brushing their teeth with a fluoride toothpaste every morning and evening. You can start getting them up earlier if they’ve been sleeping in, so they get their schedules back on track and aren’t going to school too groggy.
- New Toothbrush: Add a new toothbrush and toothpaste to their back-to-school shopping list so they have a fresh supply that might encourage them to brush with a bit more enthusiasm. Consider getting a few extra just in case they get sick.
- Plan Healthy Snacks: Make sure you are ready to send them to school with healthy snacks and lunches. Include grains, milk, cheese, raw vegetables, yogurt, or fruit. This will help them avoid snacking on too many sugary snacks that promote tooth decay. Avoid sticky snacks like dried fruit and rollups, as these are just as bad for your child’s teeth as candy.
- Older Siblings: If older siblings have to manage the morning regime, make sure they are keeping track of the younger one’s dental hygiene regime. Encourage them to brush with the little ones, so they see it is something everyone does. Younger kids often look up to their big brothers and sisters and will be more likely to brush if they see them doing it.
- Send Water: Avoid sugary fruit juice boxes and, instead, let your child pick out their own water bottle. They can take it to school with fresh water each day. They can also refill it at the fountain when they are thirsty.
- Ortho Tips: If your child has braces, make sure they know how to care for their teeth when at school. Provide them with a toothbrush so they can clean their teeth and appliances properly after lunch or snack time. We can provide tips at their back-to-school exam.
- Get a Mouth Guard: If your child will be participating in school sports, make sure to discuss getting a customized mouth guard with our team at their back-to-school exam. It is always important to protect their teeth, especially for contact sports like hockey and football.
Back to school is always a hectic time of year. By adding dental care to your checklist, you can help your children maintain their beautiful, healthy smiles all year long.
Click here to set up your back-to-school dental appointment with Treehouse Dental Care.