Can you believe that summer break is almost over already? Classes for the Shawnee Mission School District begin by mid-August, and that’s only a few short weeks away! That means it’s time for back to school shopping and new clothes—time to think about new school pictures… and healthy smiles.
Hopefully you’ve been helping to make sure your kids don’t fall behind on their oral health habits all summer, with plenty of healthy snacks to eat and less sugary sodas and sports drinks. But now that summer is drawing to a close, it’s time for a Back to School Healthy Smiles Checklist from your friendly Overland Park dentist!
- New supplies: Your kids need new books, pencils, and back to school clothes, but don’t forget that it’s also a great time for everyone in the family to get new toothbrushes, floss, and other dental hygiene supplies! Toothbrushes—or toothbrush heads if you use electric toothbrushes—should be replaced about every 3 months, and the changing of the seasons is a good reminder to get a new toothbrush while you’re out shopping for backpacks and erasers.
- After-school snacks: What’s the first thing your kids do when they get home from school? If they’re like a lot of kids, it’s head to the kitchen to grab a snack. Make sure you keep lots of healthy snacks around so that they’re more likely to reach for carrots or an apple than cavity-promoting candies. A pitcher of cold water kept in the fridge is a better alternative on hot days than sugary sodas or sports drinks. Keep healthy snacks in mind when you’re packing their lunches for school, too, and throw in some sugar-free gum to help keep their teeth clean after eating when they don’t have time to brush.
- Mouth guards: Chances are your kids are involved in some kind of after-school sport. According to the American Dental Association, about 36% of all accidental injuries among children and teens happen during sports, and many of those involve their teeth. Getting the right mouth guard can make a big difference when it comes to keeping their smiles healthy and all in one piece while they’re out on the field.
- Retainers: If your child has a retainer, make sure they’ve also got a case for it that goes along with them to school every day. Maybe pack it in their lunch, or put it with their school supplies the night before. Think about how many retainers have been lost in the lunchroom trash because kids left them on their trays!
- Come see us! It’s a good idea to plan a visit to your Overland Park family dentist well in advance of the new school year starting. Dentists can get busy around the beginning of school, so it’s never too early to plan your next cleaning and checkup!
Healthy smiles are important, especially to kids headed back to school, who want to fit in and make friends. Help your kids keep their smiles healthy by following our back to school checklist, and by making sure that they see their Overland Park dentist regularly!
This article brought to you by Watts Family Dental in Overland Park, Kansas. Our friendly office specializes in preventative dental care for the whole family. To make an appointment, please call (913) 338-3384 or click here to fill out our online contact form.