Among the long list of things parents must do to prepare their children for a new school year is to schedule a back to school dental check-up. School supplies, new clothes and up-to-date vaccinations are just part of the tasks. Make sure you don’t forget about your children’s teeth! The health of their teeth is an important part of ensuring they get the school year off to a great start.
Regular Dental Check-Ups = Early Detection of Dental Problems
Cavities and other dental diseases can lead to pain, trouble chewing, difficulty speaking, and school absences. In fact, dental disease causes kids to miss more than 51 million school hours each year. Although cavities are largely preventable, they remain the most common chronic disease of children aged 6 to 11 years and adolescents aged 12 to 19 years. When detected early, many dental issues can be easily corrected.
Start your child’s school year off the right way, with a healthy mouth! A dental check-up with Dr. Ashley Niles of Niles Family Dentistry can help to prevent problems from developing during the school year that can disrupt learning and require time away from the classroom. Schedule your entire family’s dental check-ups today.
Tips for Making Your Child’s Dental Check-up a Positive Experience
- Schedule the checkup for a time when your child is refreshed and ready for the day, vs. nap-time or at the end of a long, busy day.
- Make sure your child is not going for a dental check-up on an empty stomach.
- Remember to your child brush their teeth before leaving home.
- If more than one child is getting a checkup, let your most experienced child go first so the others can watch and learn that there is nothing to be afraid of.
- If your child is feeling anxious, encourage him or her to talk to Dr. Niles. If your child is having a hard time, stay calm and work with the dentist to get through it.
- Teach your children to brush their teeth at least twice per day and floss once so that the dental check-up is a successful reward for their hard work. Children 6 and under may need you to help them brush properly.
- Rewards for a positive dental check-up could include a trip to the library, a movie or maybe even the toy store. Avoid rewarding them with candy or sweets or that directly contradicts just having their teeth professionally cleaned and a good bill of dental health.
State-of-the-Art Digital X-Rays
During your child’s back-to-school dental visit, our experienced dental hygienist will clean your child’s teeth, check for cavities, and make sure your child is keeping up with good brushing and flossing habits.
X-rays are often part of a dental check-up and Dr. Niles uses the most advanced dental technologies available. CariVu digital x-rays, which use safe infrared light to detect cavities and tooth decay is more effective than x-ray imaging of the past and also eliminates radiation from the imaging process.
Maintenance Tips for a Healthy Smile in Between Dental Check-ups
Caring for your child’s teeth goes beyond scheduling regular dental check-ups. It is a daily task to retain a healthy smile. Here are a few ways you can help your kids maintain healthy teeth throughout the school year:
Make Brushing a Rewarding Activity
- A star chart or similar reward system will help motivate them to brush. The long-term payoff of having their teeth for a lifetime will prove itself over the years of taking care of their dental health every day.
- Positive reinforcement with small rewards, like reading an extra story or a trip to see the animals in the pet store as motivation might be just the right incentive they need to brush their teeth every day! Tap into what your children love as an incentive for them to take care of their dental health. Just make sure you’re not rewarding them with candy or sugary incentives.
- Have fun, even when it comes to brushing their teeth. Brushing for two minutes may seem like a long time to a young child, but there are many ways to make your child’s dental routine a fun activity.
- Monitor sugar intake. Most kids love sweets, but sugar-packed snacks and drinks can wreak havoc on your child’s teeth. Moderate your children’s intake of sugary foods during and after school hours.
- Sweets are not the only foods that wreak havoc on your children’s teeth. Avoid carbohydrates such as pretzels, chips and crackers, etc. which can cling the tooth surface. Make sure they rinse with water or brush after eating this type of food.
- Practice the 3-2-1 rule at home: eat three (3) healthy meals, brush two (2) times (morning and night with a fluoride toothpaste) for two minutes each time, and floss at least one (1) time every day.
- GUM Red-Cote Plaque Disclosing Tablets visibly disclose the areas of your tooth enamel where additional brushing and flossing is needed to combat plaque. Using these chewable plaque tablets can help prevent tooth decay, gum disease and the further build-up of plaque. They’re made with a non-toxic vegetable dye and can be purchased at your local pharmacy or online.
- Simple preventive dental care, including dental check-ups twice a year, can make all the difference in maintaining your child’s healthy teeth and gums.
Schedule a Back to School Dental Check-Up
Dr. Niles provides compassionate and skilled dental care for the whole family. Located in Niwot, Colorado at 136 2nd Avenue, Suite 101, she provides dental care for patients in Boulder, Longmont and other areas of northern Colorado. Dr. Niles also offers a wide range of dental services so you don’t have to go to numerous specialists to take care of your dental needs.
As another summer vacation draws to a close and you’re checking off the list of things to do, make sure you call (720) 744-0001 to schedule a back to school dental check-up for your children. Their smile will thank you for it!