Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Back to School Already? Give Your Kids Something to Smile About!

As another summer comes to a close, give your kids a reason to smile. Along with making a shopping list for supplies, new backpacks, lunch boxes and school clothes, include a dental checklist as well. With a new school year ahead, give your youngster the tools for a successful and healthy start. Just as establishing an organized routine goes hand in hand with doing well in school, the same holds true for achieving excellent dental health.  

Just follow this simple checklist that will help create positive dental health practices:
  • Schedule routine dental checkups for your children. Use a calendar to stay on top of everyone's appointments. Regular cleanings help dental professionals detect any problems early before they get out of control. Annual checkups are the best way to monitor the growth and overall condition of a young person's teeth and gums. In addition to cleaning and polishing the teeth, dental visits are necessary to ensure that all is well with the jaw, tongue, and oral tissue.
  • Oftentimes, attention to dental care details slacks off during the lazy days of summer. Reinforce the importance of brushing after meals and sugary snacks. Also, make sure that your kids know how to floss properly.
  • Want your youngsters to get an A+ after their next visit to the dentist? Set them up for success by providing them with an arsenal of tools to fight tooth decay and maintain a dazzling, healthy smile. Choose products they will be enthusiastic about using such as toothpaste flavors they like, a new toothbrush, colorful floss pics, and their own bottle of anti-cavity rinse. Do not assume that just because you like spearmint gum and floss that it is your child's first choice. They will be more likely to reach for products they enjoy using.
  • Clarify that it can only be enjoyed after school and then buy some gum. Yes! That's correct-numerous clinical studies have revealed that chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes following a meal is effective in preventing tooth decay. Purchase the sugarless brands that have received the ADA's Seal of Approval. Non-cavity causing sweeteners such as aspartame, xylitol, sorbitol or mannitol sweeten them. Using chewing gum can be an added bonus to your family's dental health regime because when sugarless gum is chewed, the flow of saliva increases which in turn helps wash away food particles. Extra saliva also neutralizes acids made by the mouth's naturally occurring bacteria which creates disease-fighting ingredients in the mouth.
  • Explain that correct and frequent brushing is vital to prevent cavities, healthy gums, plaque buildup and bad breath. Make things fun with several packets of "disclosing tablets." They are made from harmless vegetable dye and detect spots that children missed when brushing. They are a great way for kids to see what happens when they forget to brush the right way!
  • Since the ADA recommends brushing for a full 2-minute period, find a fun to use timer to help the little ones keep from rushing the process of brushing their teeth.
  • Stock up on healthy snack and lunch box options. Fresh fruits, whole grain crackers and cookies, popcorn, nuts, and cheeses are the way to go. Invest in a few BPA-free water bottles and promote water as the beverage of choice.
Remember, just like good study habits, practice makes perfect when it comes to achieving excellent dental health! If you have any questions, you can reach us at 919-782-0548 or visit our website at http://www.theraleighdentists.com/.

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