Shopping for school gear and physicals at your kids’ primary care physician’s office shouldn’t be the only thing on your back-to-school to-do list. It’s also a great time to schedule dental check-ups for your kids.
Here in Illinois, the State Board of Education requires all students in kindergarten and second, sixth and ninth grades to have an oral health exam.
Dental Check-Ups for Children With Baby Teeth
Just because our baby teeth are going to fall out eventually doesn’t mean we shouldn’t care for them. Teaching children healthy dental habits at a young age, including how to brush and floss their baby teeth, will ensure they have proper hygiene when their adult teeth come in.
“The sooner children begin getting regular dental check-ups, the healthier their mouths will stay throughout their lives,” according to the Center for Pediatric Dentistry.
Regular check-ups are beneficial to your child because they:
- Prevent cavities that cause your child pain
- Ensure your child has healthy teeth which means they chew food better
- Help ensure their adult teeth come in properly just by monitoring the development of their baby teeth
Tooth decay is one of the most common chronic diseases in children but it’s also preventable.
Dental Check-Ups for Teens
Teenagers often care about their looks, so use that to your advantage. If your teen isn’t excited about taking time out of their busy schedule for their next dental check-up, remind them of the importance of good dental hygiene. Otherwise, neglect could lead to teeth stains, bad breath, missing teeth or other dental issues.
Your kids should brush their teeth twice daily for about two minutes each time. Then, make sure they’re flossing at least once a day. Not flossing could cause their teeth to be yellow as tartar builds up.
Dental Health and Sugar
Want to reduce your risk of cavities? Too much sugar can cause cavities. Medical professionals from all fields agree that kids (and adults!) should limit their sugar intake.
For younger children, consider adding water to any juices you give them. For children of all ages, consider keeping your house stocked with sugar-free snacks. There will always be special occasions where sugar is a part of the festivities, such as holiday events, which also are good times to talk to your children about moderation. Yes, you’ll indulge, but do so mindfully. And remember—brush your teeth afterward!
Be a Dental Health Role Model
Now, let’s talk about you! When was the last time you had your teeth cleaned? Children learn a lot from their parents. Show them how good oral hygiene is a must—not just when they’re young. Be sure to schedule yourself a dental visit as well.
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