Dental health is an important aspect of overall well-being, and maintaining good oral hygiene is crucial for everyone, including students. Here are some simple tips to help children maintain a healthy smile throughout the school year.
Establishing a back-to-school oral health care routine
Encourage regular teeth brushing, flossing, and rinsing. Students should brush their teeth at least twice a day for two minutes each time. A soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste are preferable and flossing should be done once a day to clean between teeth and along the gumline. Teach students proper brushing technique, and use gentle, circular motions to help avoid gum irritation. Establish a routine and encourage them to brush in the morning before school and before bed.
What to eat and drink at school to help promote oral health
Pack healthy school lunches and snacks. Opt for nutritious food choices that promote oral health. Include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products in student meals. Limit sugary snacks and beverages, as they can contribute to tooth decay. Pack a water bottle to encourage your child to drink water throughout the day, especially after meals. Water helps rinse away food particles and keeps the mouth hydrated. Avoid sugary drinks like soda and juice, as they can harm tooth enamel. A balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains supports dental health.
Safeguarding smiles during sports season
While it’s impossible to completely eliminate the risk of dental injuries in sports, there are straightforward steps that can substantially lower the severity and frequency of such incidents. Utilizing proper protective equipment, like well-fitting mouthguards, can play a pivotal role in reducing the likelihood of fractured teeth and harm to the jaw, lips, and tongue resulting from facial impacts. For children engaging in organized sports or recreational activities, understanding how to prevent these avoidable injuries holds significant importance.
The three types of mouthguards:
Custom-fitted: Crafted by a pediatric dentist or orthodontist, custom-fitted mouth guards are tailored to your child’s mouth. The process involves creating a mold of the child’s jaw, resulting in a guard that fits perfectly. Although they may be pricier than generic alternatives, their precise fit offers unparalleled protection. Despite the higher cost, they are the optimal choice for your child’s safety.
Boil and bite: Available at drug stores and sporting goods outlets, these mouthguards are softened in hot water before being placed in the child’s mouth. As the child bites down, the mouth guard molds around their teeth and jaw, providing a semi-custom fit due to its adaptable nature. Boil and bite guards offer the next best level of protection after custom-fitted guards.
Stock: The least expensive option, stock mouth guards are pre-molded and come ready to wear. However, the generic design often results in a poor fit and limited protection. Bulky and ill-fitting, they can even cause breathing difficulties during physical activities, making them an unadvised choice for safeguarding your child’s oral health during sports.
The importance of regular dental visits for optimal oral health
Schedule dental checkups for your children at least once or twice a year. Regular visits to the dentist help detect any dental issues early on and lessen the likelihood of your child missing school due to dental-related issues. Good dental health contributes to overall well-being, and by following these tips, students can have healthier smiles as they head back to the classroom.