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Back-to-School Tips for Healthy Smiles | Overland Park Family Dentist

School is starting back up this week, and that means parents all across the Kansas City area are scrambling to ensure that everything is ready for Day One. There’s a lot to think about, a lot to prepare for, and a lot to do. So, to help make sure that all those who are returning to school this month have happy, healthy smiles (and take some stress off your shoulders) your friendly Overland Park family dentist has brought together a few top tips that should help…

It’s okay to brush before breakfast. It’s more important that kids brush every morning than when, and there’s not always a lot of time to spare on a busy school morning. This sometimes means that busy kids eat breakfast at school, or on their way there. So let them brush before they eat, so they’ll still start the day off right.

Don’t micromanage (unless it’s necessary). Encourage your kids to brush every morning – after breakfast is preferred, but as we just mentioned, it’s better that they brush at all than skip, so whenever works for them is the best time. This is an important period in their life for developing good dental health habits that will last them a lifetime, so it’s important to encourage them—but it’s also important to let them do it in a way works for them, so long as it’s getting done.

Consider improving their midday diet. Meals that you send with them from home may very well be healthier than what they’re getting at school, especially if you make it a point to pack tooth-friendly alternatives like cut fruits and vegetables or hummus dip with pita bread. Just avoid anything with a lot of processed sugars. Speaking of…

Choose water over everything else. Kids may ask for soda, juice, or other sugary drinks, but they aren’t the best choices. The fact is, nothing hydrates better than water, and sugary drinks are leading culprits when it comes to promoting tooth decay. What’s more, too much sugar can lead kids to crash in the afternoon, which is no good for their attention in class.

Be safe during sports. Whether your kids are participating in organized afterschool sports or just playing a game of touch football in the park, it’s always a good idea to wear a mouthguard. This will protect their teeth from collisions, falls, and other injuries that can lead to chipped or cracked teeth or other dental injuries.

Take care of braces and retainers. Dental care is important for everyone, but those who wear braces face some unique dental challenges, including that it can simply be more difficult to effectively brush around braces. Ask your Overland Park dentist for tips. As for retainers, well, we all know how easy it is to lose them. So, taking special care not only helps protect your child’s healthy smile, but can save money, too.

And, of course, it’s not too late to schedule that first back-to-school appointment with your Overland Park dentist! Just call Watts Family Dental at (913) 338-3384 today!

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