By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert
Ahhh, the lazy days of summer. For most Midwesterners, this means swimming, boating, beaching and vacationing while enjoying late-night campfires and gooey s’mores. But we also know that, if we don’t think and plan ahead, the transition from summer into fall is rocky.
At Eggert Family Dentistry, we want to lighten your load a bit. As summer fades away into fall, save yourself stress by looking through our back-to-school oral hygiene checklist for your child!
Establish your school-year dental routine
- Buy your child a new toothbrush, a tube of fluoride toothpaste, floss and mouthwash
- Reiterate the importance of brushing and flossing at least twice each day
- If your child is small, let them know where brushing and flossing will fit into their daily routine
- As parents, make sure to help your children (age 8 and under) brush and floss thoroughly each time
- Ask older siblings to set a good example by showing younger younger siblings how to brush and floss
- Create a star chart or other reward system for young children to encourage daily oral hygiene
Put together a school dental kit
- Check the school’s gum policy and, if it’s allowed, give your child a pack of sugar-free gum to chew after lunch to help clean their teeth
- Get your child a water bottle they can take to school and encourage them to sip on water throughout the day to cleanse their mouth and keep their teeth clean
Shop for healthy food for lunches and snacks
Great choices include:
- Crunchy foods like carrots, celery and apples; limit citrus fruits which erode enamel quickly
- Salad greens with crunchy, raw vegetables and a low-sugar dressing
- Foods high in calcium and phosphorus such as cheese, yogurt and nuts
- Whole-grain bread/sandwiches with natural nut or seed butter or nitrite-free deli meat and cheese
- Miniature water bottles or white milk for their thermos
If your child has braces…
- Put a travel toothbrush, a small tube of fluoride toothpaste, a container of floss and a container of dental wax in a small zipper bag and encourage them to brush their teeth after lunch
- Brainstorm a list of healthy, low-sugar, braces-friendly snack and lunch options
Schedule your child’s fall recare visit
At your child’s visit, we will thoroughly clean their teeth, check for signs of cavities, monitor the need for braces and evaluate the status of their wisdom teeth.
If your child will be playing contact sports this school year, ask us about custom mouthguards!