4 Oral Health Tips for Kids Starting School

Aerial view of word tiles arranged to spell Back to School on lined yellow notebook paper next to 2 yellow pencils
If your kids are starting school soon, check out these oral health tips so they can start the school year off with a dazzling, healthy smile.

    1. Maintain a Great Oral Hygiene Routine

    Even before your child’s teeth start erupting, you should get them used to daily dental hygiene by wiping their gums with a moist cloth. By wiping your child’s gums, you can expel dangerous bacteria before it causes any issues. Once their teeth come in, use a fluoride toothpaste and a toothbrush specially designed for kids. We can explain and show you how to brush your child’s teeth and it should be something that you teach your child how to do correctly as they get older. Aggressively brushing back and forth with a toothbrush will damage the teeth and gums of your little one; instead, tilt the bristles at an angle toward the gums and gently brush in tiny circles, making sure to clean every surface of each tooth. Your child should brush twice a day for two minutes each time, with help and/or supervision until they are 8-10 years old.

    2. Use the Right Tools

    According to the American Dental Associations, it is vital that your child uses a toothbrush with very soft bristles with fluoride toothpaste as soon as their first tooth erupts. When their teeth first appear, start with a tiny smear of toothpaste, no more than the size of a grain of rice. Upgrade to a pea-sized dollop once they hit the age of three. Tooth decay is a big problem for people of all ages, but especially for young children, and the fluoride in toothpaste helps to prevent cavities. Advanced dental decay can be very uncomfortable and may interfere with your child’s ability to sleep, speak properly, eat, and even pay attention in school. In addition to the fluoride in your city’s water supply, fluoridated toothpaste works to remineralize teeth that have been damaged by bacteria.

    3. Floss Every Single Day

    Flossing is not just for kids who have all of their teeth. You should start flossing your child’s teeth as soon as their teeth start touching each other! You can use regular floss, disposable flossers made for children, or a water flosser, but just be sure you’re getting in between each and every tooth to remove the food and plaque that builds up there.

    4. Come See Us Early & Often

    Bring your child to see our expert dental team by their first birthday. At this first appointment, we will perform a thorough oral exam, guide you on how to properly brush and care for your child’s teeth, start a record of your child’s dental history, identify what kind of genetic dental traits your child might have inherited or be at risk of, and more. To promote outstanding oral health, continue bringing your child to see us at least twice a year unless we specify otherwise. During the school year, we’ll provide a note for your child’s teacher if their appointment causes them to miss any school. However, if an after-school dental visit works better for your family’s schedule, we are open until 5:00 pm Monday through Thursday, and 4:00 pm on Friday!

    Schedule a checkup & cleaning for your child before the school year to ensure their smile is healthy!

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