As parents, the end of summer marks the beginning of back-to-school preparation. This includes school supply shopping, summer reading, and visits with your child’s doctor and dentist to ensure that he or she is healthy for the upcoming school year.
While a visit to the dentist may not seem as important as a physical examination at the doctor, your child’s oral health is in fact crucial to his or her overall health. Dr. Christopher Banks understands that back-to-school preparations can be stressful on both parents and children and would like to offer some tips on how to ace that dental checkup and stay cavity-free for the whole school year!
Cavity Prevention in Children
Diligent oral hygiene maintenance is the strongest foundation for a healthy mouth. As parents, it is your responsibility to instill positive oral health habits in your child from the very beginning. Did you know that over half of children aged 5-9 have at least one cavity?
You can prevent your child from becoming a part of this statistic simply by encouraging them to brush for 2 minutes twice daily (2 X 2) and floss once daily. During routine visits to our Chevy Chase, MD office, we take the time to show our young patients how to effectively brush and floss to maintain tooth enamel and oral health.
You can also improve your child’s oral health by preparing meals that are low in sugar and discouraging in-between meal snacking and sugary drinks- including ghettoes popular sports drinks! Snacking provides more opportunities for the bacteria in your mouth to feed on sugar and produce acids that destroy tooth enamel and cause cavities.
Tooth decay is an infectious disease and is especially prevalent among school children; tooth-related illnesses account for the loss of 52 million school hours each year.
If your child is especially prone to cavities or if a low-sugar diet is not entirely realistic, you may want to talk to Dr. Banks about preventative sealants. This dental procedure uses a resin to fill in the pits and grooves on your molar teeth and makes them a less favorable environment for bacterial invasion.
We hope that you found these suggestions helpful and Dr. Banks and his staff would like to wish you a happy and healthy new school year!
ADA video about back-to-school checkups: