Smile Hacking: Getting Your Kids a Cleaning Before School Starts

Summer is coming to a close, and back-to-school lists are being checked off. Is a visit to the dentist on your back-to-school checklist? If not, it should be. Frequent trips to the dentist are always important for kids, but especially when school starts back up.

With the busiest part of the year fast approaching, a routine cleaning and check-up can help prevent the most common disease among school-age children﹘ cavities! According to the ADA this dental disease causes children to miss more than 51 million school hours each year. Whoa! A quick trip to the dentist can help ensure that your child’s mouth stays healthy all school year long.

Here are a few things to think about before your child’s appointment.

Don’t Wait. If you don’t already have an appointment scheduled for your child, be sure to call your dentist as soon as possible. The back-to-school season is the busiest time of year for dental practices, and the longer you wait to call, the further out your appointment will be. Many dentists recommend calling at the beginning of the summer to schedule your back-to-school cleaning and check-up.

Check in on Habits. Summers are busy and crazy at times, and good habits can fly right out the window when you’re in the midst of summer fun. Take another look at your child’s daily hygiene habits to be sure they’re up to snuff. Kids should be brushing their teeth thoroughly twice a day and flossing once a day. If your child is old enough to spit out their toothpaste, they should be using fluoride toothpaste to help prevent tooth decay.

If you feel like you’ve been struggling to keep your child on track with their oral health regimen, ask your dentist about tips and tricks that might help.

Choose Wisely. If you don’t already have a trusted family dentist, be sure to choose one that is trained in working with children. Pediatric dentists go through extensive training to learn how to best cater to children. They are trained on interacting with kids and caring for baby teeth, which is much different than caring for adult teeth. For more information on this topic, check out our articleCan My Child See My Dentist?”

Prepare Your Child. To ensure your back-to-school cleaning goes smoothly, be sure to talk to your child about what they can expect at their appointment. If you suffer from fear or anxiety surrounding the dentist, try not to express that outwardly leading up to or during your child’s appointment. Many children develop a fear of going the dentist by just watching how their parents react at their appointments.

Do Your Research. The purpose of a back-to-school appointment for your child is prevention. The dentist and hygienist will remove plaque (hard build-up caused by bacteria) to help prevent decay (cavities). They will also check for any existing cavities or dental health issues. Your dentist is a wealth of knowledge, so have any questions ready for them at the visit. They can advise you on effective preventive measures, such as the use of sealants and fluoride, brushing and flossing techniques, and mouthguards for sports that could result in oral trauma.

Start your school year off right! Call Elite Smiles today to schedule an appointment.

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