1. Re-Establish Your Dental Routine
As you get ready to send your child back to school this week or next, re-establish your dental routine for healthier hygiene. In the Summer, it can be easy to miss a teeth brushing or two. However, brushing regularly is crucial to good dental hygiene. Dr. D recommends you brush 2-3 times a day and after any sweets. Pack a small bag to school each day with a toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss to stay on track throughout the school day.
2. Schedule Your Child's Checkups
Scheduling your child’s routine and orthodontic dental visits prior to or at the start of the school year ensures that you do not forget to make the appointment when things get too busy and minimizes days missed of school.
3. Limit Your Child's Intake of Candy and Sweets
Sweet sugary candies and foods automatically increase the levels of harmful acids in the mouth, and it can take as long as 20 minutes for the saliva to neutralize those acids. It’s easy to have these treats during the Summer but plan for healthy desserts and snacks as the school year begins, including fresh fruits and veggies. Be mindful of drinks when packing lunches and choose options with little to no sugar.
Helpful Tip: If you plan to give your child candy or sweets, it’s best to do it after a meal. Afterwards, instruct your child to brush his or her teeth to remove the food particles and sugar.
4. Drink Lots of Water
Drinking lots of water – 8-10 glasses a day are recommended- will not only keep you hydrated but will also remove plaque and keep bacteria from building up. Hydrating in this Texas heat is essential! Enough said!
5. Get to Bed Early
Lack of sleep can lead to fatigue, poor hygiene, and lack of concentration. Get plenty of sleep to be your best self when school begins! We recommend atleast 8 hours and more for younger kids.
A few extra tips below for regulating good sleep for your teenagers:
Limit caffeine. Children and teenagers’ bodies don’t need to experience increased heart rates or dehydration. Soda on a special occasion is fine, but shouldn’t be a regular part of life.
Make sure he/she gets some exercise during the day, but not too close to bed time. In fact, the end of the evening should be considered as “winding down” time, with a routine that he repeats every night.
If he/she, for instance, stretches, reads and then brushes his teeth at around the same time every night, the pattern will train the brain to expect to sleep.
Once he/she crawls into bed, the room should be quiet and dark. You want your child’s body to be able to fall asleep without a trigger like TV or music. Also, try to avoid having your child run a sleep deficit during the week and then “catching up” by sleeping all day during the weekend. Just like good eating and exercise habits, good sleep habits should be consistent to have any meaningful effect.
6. Know How to Handle Dental "Emergencies"
Back to school can lead to more play and you may experience a dental or orthodontic emergency. Knowing what to do makes all the difference! Orthodontic emergencies would be if your teeth are impacted to the point of extreme pain and/or a dislodged tooth. If your tooth is fully dislodged, please keep in your jaw or in a glass of milk and head to the ER.
If you feel discomfort or if a bracket comes loose, this is not an emergency but please make an appointment with our care team.