With COVID-19 concerns continuing to mount, the 2020 back-to-school season is undeniably unique. Your child might be doing classes with their peers virtually for the first time, going back to in-person classes, or a mix of both. No matter what this school year brings, this is the perfect opportunity to check in on your child’s oral health.
Tooth decay causes children across the country to miss a combined 51 million hours of school each year. When left untreated, cavities can lead to oral health complications that extend far beyond school years, including severe tooth decay, periodontal disease, and even premature tooth loss.
Let’s take a look at the top recommendations for dentists to help your child start the school year off right, whether they are studying at home in the living room or in the classroom.
Schedule a dental exam as soon as possible
As work and class schedules become increasingly flexible, use this as an opportunity to schedule a dental exam. Regular checkups and cleanings are crucial to ensuring that your child has cavities resolved as soon as possible. They also provide the opportunity to get x-rays to ensure that teeth are developing properly, examine bite patterns and jaw placement, and evaluate the need for orthodontics down the line.
Ask your dentist about sealants
Sealants are protective coatings that are placed along high-risk teeth to protect against bacteria and food particle buildup. This provides an extra layer of protection against cavities and decay, keeping teeth as strong and as healthy as possible during childhood and teenage years. In cases where decay is already present, sealants can stop the spread to preserve teeth, protecting against tooth loss in adulthood.
Stay positive about dental visits
Many children – and even adults – experience a twinge of anxiety or fear over going to the dentist. It’s a natural reaction, but it’s also one that can be managed by a consistently positive outlook. As you plan your next dental visit, reinforce to your child that seeing the dentist is not a punishment or something to be afraid of. Tell them that seeing the dentist is a good thing, and it helps ensure that they will have beautiful teeth as they grow older.
Create a strong at-home dental hygiene routine
Establishing healthy habits as early as possible can help ensure that children maintain high oral hygiene into their adult years. Use the start of a new school season as an opportunity to revisit twice-daily brushing. If your child is taking classes virtually, you can reinforce supplemental oral care by encouraging them to drink water or rinse their mouth after eating a snack.
And of course, if they are having trouble with starting a regular flossing routine, now is the perfect time to start. Make sure they are flossing before their nightly brushing to ensure that they are effectively removing plaque and hard-to-reach food debris.
Schedule Your Back-to-School Dental Visit with TruBlu Today!
No matter what your back-to-school season looks like, creating solid, healthy oral hygiene habits is important at any age. It’s the best way to help your child avoid common oral health issues in the future, such as gum disease, tooth decay, and cavities.
Reach out to TruBlu Dentistry today to make your child’s back-to-school dental exam appointment!