Florida schools are about to be back in session! Hopefully you kept your summer smiles sparkling on vacation, but it’s normal for some good habits to fall to the wayside without our usual routines in place.
Here are 5 simple ways to help get your kids’ smiles back-to-school ready.
1. Prep Some Back-to-School Dental Supplies to Go!
Trying to get back into the swing of things can leave you scrambling for the door in the mornings. Lots of our youngest patients admit to skipping brushing in the mornings because they just don’t have time.
Whether that’s true or not, having some to-go dental supplies packed can help make sure your kids have a chance to brush in the morning, after lunch, or anytime they need to freshen up during the day.
In a pinch, brushing without toothpaste will still remove plaque and help keep gums healthy, so your kids can even brush in the car if they have to.
Being able to keep teeth clean at school is especially important if your child has braces or Invisalign!
2. Pack Tooth-Friendly Snacks and Lunches
If your kids bring lunch or snacks from home, try to offer some tooth-friendly options in addition to their favorite go-tos. Apples, carrot sticks, celery, and other rough foods can help remove plaque and keep teeth clean.
Raisins have phytonutrients that fight decay, and cheese can support healthy teeth with essential minerals.
Encourage your kids to drink plenty of water through the day if possible, and save the sports drinks for when they’re necessary, like at soccer practice or times your kids lose a lot of electrolytes with heavy sweating.
3. Try to Get Back to Your Good Habits
Over summer break, our usual routines inevitably break down. While some families find it easier to keep up with brushing and flossing because they have more time over the summer, most start skipping their good dental habits.
Preventing cavities and gum disease is especially important for kids. Dental pain and cavities can lead to lots of missed school, lost sleep, and nutrition problems because it’s hard to eat.
In the chaos that is back-to-school time, try to establish a regular routine for brushing morning and night and flossing once per day. Bonus points if you can add some anti-cavity mouthwash before bed to strengthen teeth while your kids sleep!
4. Take Care of Any Treatment Needs Before Your Kids Get Back to School
If your child has any cavities or problem teeth you’ve been putting off, now is the time to take care of them. Untreated cavities (yes, even in baby teeth) can lead to serious problems like abscesses and infections that can become medical emergencies. The pain from untreated decay can make it hard to eat, speak, play, and learn.
If your child needs a tooth removed early because of severe decay, they may also need an orthodontist’s attention to maintain the space so permanent teeth can come in appropriately.
If your high schooler has recently finished orthodontic treatment or is self-conscious about the shade of their teeth, keep in mind that we can safely whiten teeth for patients as young as 14 to help them feel confident for the new school year.
We understand it can be hard to take time off from work or school to take care of dental treatments. We offer early morning and afternoon appointments to help accommodate your scheduling needs!
5. Schedule Your Check-Ups Now
Even if you can’t get in for your regular dental cleanings and exams before school starts, now is a good time to take a look at your school calendar and call us to schedule those routine appointments.
Winter break tends to get booked up early, so if you’re hoping to get in while the kids aren’t in school, or if you have a young adult coming back from college for a visit, you’ll want to get on the books asap to reserve your spot!
We hope your whole family has a great 2023/2024 school year! As always, don’t hesitate to call us if you have any questions or concerns about making sure your kids’ smiles are back-to-school ready. Keep smiling and study hard, Orlando!