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female child holding big spiral lollipop candy and huge toothbrush

School supplies? Check! New school clothes? Check! But, what about a beautiful back to school smile? Depending on the child, he or she may or may not be excited about the summer ending and school beginning. In the hustle and bustle of adjusting to the school year, don’t forget about the importance of a great oral health routine. Here are three ways you can help your child return to school with a bright and beautiful smile.

  1. Make an appointment before school begins. It’s never a bad idea to start the new school year with a visit to MH Dentistry: Marc Heiden, DMD for a cleaning and exam. Ask about sealants and fluoride treatments to help prevent tooth decay; this is a great way to prevent cavities from forming. The better oral health your child has, the less likely they will have to miss school due to issues or problems with their oral health.
  2. Choose the right snacks. Instead of putting chips or crackers into your child’s lunchbox or on their plate for an after school snack, try nuts instead. Snacks that are high in salt are just as bad as those high in sugar. When consumed, this type of snack breaks down into a sticky goo material that coats the teeth and leads to tooth decay. Switch out candy and granola bars for celery sticks, baby carrots, and cheese cubes/snack sticks.
  3. Create a brushing/flossing routine that is fun. In order to maintain good oral health, your child will need to brush their teeth at least two times a day for two minutes each time. They should also floss each day after dinner. Some ways to make this routine fun include:
    • Using a calendar with stickers. Let your child place a sticker onto each day that shows they have completed brushing and flossing.
    • Let them listen to music. Play your child’s favorite songs that are at least two minutes long so they can have fun while brushing.
    • Allow your child to pick out their toothbrush. They can choose a theme, their favorite color, or one that has their favorite cartoon character on it.
    • Purchase a child-friendly floss container. These are Y-shaped and make flossing comfortable for kids.