It’s the same every January in Australia. Parents frantically preparing their kids for the school year ahead. There are the uniforms, stationary, new lunch boxes and water bottles. The queues are endless, the kids are grumpy (so are the parents) and everyone is equally dreading and looking forward to term beginning.
Everything seems to be in place, but is it?
Health is often neglected at the best of times, and oral health often takes a back burner until an emergency situation arises. Whilst it may be deemed as unnecessary if there are no obvious issues, scheduling a routine dental visit is a proactive way to help avoid the need for costly and out of the blue dental work. It establishes a habit that will last your child a lifetime.
Easy tips to get your child Back to School Ready (Oral Hygiene)
- Schedule in an appointment for a routine check-up and clean. Let’s face it, once the school year starts, so does the after school and weekend activities. Time becomes a commodity that is equal to the value of gold. Take advantage of your free time and schedule your child a check-up with the dentist. Besides from the peace of mind, a visit to the dentist will also uncover any underlying problems before the school year starts so you can avoid the need to take unnecessary time off from school or work or attempting to squeeze everything in around a very busy schedule. Ask your dentist about the benefits of Fissure Sealants and how they can help protect your child’s teeth from cavities. Plan the year and mark your calendar with 6 monthly reminders. Regular visits to your dentist is a proactive way to help prevent dental emergencies.
- Lunches. Now you’ve raided the shopping centres for the perfect lunch box and water bottle, the focus now should turn to the contents of the newly purchased items. Providing your child with healthy snacks and lunch is a great way to keep their oral health in check. It’s tempting to provide sugary and starchy options as it’s appealing to kids. Fresh fruit, vegetables, yoghurt, cheese and sandwiches or wraps with salad fillings are all good teeth friendly options. Don’t forget the drinks. Sports, fizzy drinks and juices are a beacon for decay and cavities and really should be consumed as an occasional treat. Provide ample tap water to rehydrate and keep the need for fillings at bay.
- It’s time to brush NOW. Don’t wait until school starts to set up a tooth brushing routine. Between breakfast nightmares, the lost shoe and homework that’s gone missing, you are already under the pump to get them out the door and adding a new dimension will have you rattled and the routine will become non-existent. For the little kids, your assistance will be required to ensure they develop correct brushing techniques. Don’t forget the older kids, as they often need reminders to brush and floss twice a day. Brushing and flossing is a life skill and should be part of their daily routine. Start early and reap the rewards.
- Time to think mouth guards. If your child plays a contact sport a mouth guard is a must to prevent tooth loss, damage or injury. It is often the perception a sports mouth guard is for elite athletes or ‘older children’ however, a 5 year old can receive a tooth injury the same as an older child. A custom-made mouth guard is the best option. As the name suggests, they are designed to be perfectly fitted to your child’s teeth for maximum protection and comfort.
Your local dentist can provide literature and tips to help you keep your child’s teeth healthy. Greenvale Dental Group has an extensive library on hand, so feel free to ask at your next appointment. There are several online apps that can get you started also.
Dr Soraya is the principal dentist and owner of Greenvale Dental Group with over 25 years’ experience in the field of dentistry.
Soraya’s areas of treatment include general dentistry, dental emergencies, dental implants, endodontics, cosmetic dentistry, and crown and bridge dentures.