According to a report by the Surgeon General, more than 51 million school hours are lost each year to dental-related illness. We don’t want our kids to miss even one day of fun and learning because they have a dental issue, so let’s start off the school year with healthy smile habits. While you and your family start the routine of packing lunches, doing homework, and getting to the bus on time, remember to make brushing and flossing a part of that. When brushing teeth becomes a part of the routine, it will help create and encourage the healthy habit.
With a healthy smile, kids can enter the classroom with confidence. But with an unhealthy smile, kids could miss more days of school and be more distracted while in class. Painful dental problems could prevent kids from participating in class activities and could also affect their concentration levels. Serious issues like tooth decay affect their overall health and could lead to other problems with eating, speaking and learning.
These healthy choices will keep your kids smiling and help prevent missed school days for dental procedures:
- Brush with fluoride toothpaste twice a day, making sure all surfaces of the teeth are covered.
- While paying close attention to the gum line, gently brush teeth for two minutes.
- Floss teeth at least once a day.
- Schedule regular dental appointments for the whole family.
- Pack lunches with healthy smile choices like apples, carrots and celery. Try to limit sugar-filled snacks and high-starch or refined carbohydrate foods like chips, pretzels, cookies, and white bread.
- Choose milk or water instead of juice for lunch. The bacteria that causes tooth decay thrives on simple sugars, like those found in sticky foods and sugary beverages, like soda, juice and sports drinks.
Children smile, on average, 400 times a day! Let’s keep those smiles healthy, clean and bright while they are in school and all the time. If you haven’t made your preventive dental appointments for you and your kids yet, here’s your reminder. Most plans cover dental exams and cleanings every six months. You still have time before the kids head back to school!