Downtown Concord Dental wishes good luck to all the kids who are headed back to school and remember if you take care of your teeth now, they will return the favor for a lifetime Soon our children will be going back to school. This is the time of year many children will come to the dentist with a form that verifies that they have been seen by their dentist and what treatment, if any, needs to be done. Although cavities have been on the decline in recent years due to water fluoridation in many communities, tooth decay is still a common problem for many of our children and adults as well.
You and your family can easily prepare for that first day of class, here are some useful tips for keeping smiles looking great all year.
Concord CA Dentist Dr. Aaron K Lee, DDS believes time of day can make or break your child’s appointment. “It’s important for a child of any age who’s used to a nap to not schedule during naptime,” he says. If your child is always cranky after waking up, factor that in too.
For older children, avoid cramming in a dentist appointment right after day camp or school. “Not all kids have the energy to do that,” he says. “I will have parents who want to do very elaborate operative work after school because that’s when the kids can come out. But if the child has already been exhausted or had a bad day or had tests, they just don’t have the stamina to make it through the appointment successfully” say’s, Dr. Lee.
If you’ve scheduled back-to-back appointments for your children, there’s a simple way to decide who goes first: Choose the child who’s had the most positive experiences at the dentist. “Every child is going to be a little bit different in their temperament about how they approach a visit,” he says. “You generally want the ones first who are more successful because the others get to see how it goes.”
Feed your child a light meal before the appointment. “Hungry people are grouchy people. You want them to be comfortable,” he says. “It’s also generally a good idea not to feed them in the waiting room before you see the dentist because there’s all that food in [their mouth].” Eating light is also better for a child with a healthy gag reflex. “Some children gag a lot just because they gag with everything,” he says. “As they age and they get more control over swallowing, kids tend to gag less.” Bonus points if your child brushes before an appointment. “It’s polite,” Dr. Lee says.
1. Regular clinical and radiographic dental examinations to diagnose, treat and/or prevent dental problems are always important. In school guardians and teachers may not always realize there’s a dental problem, so a regular checkup before school is especially important. Your dentist may suggest fluoride treatments or sealants to prevent decay and can diagnose and treat dental problems such as decay to save your child discomfort and lost attendance.
2. A regular hygiene program including brushing with fluoride toothpaste and flossing. Visit the dental care section when you’re out shopping for school supplies. If parents buy several toothbrushes they could have their child change to a new one every three months or so, or after an illness. If it’s hard to remember when to change a brush, you could try to change it every time report cards come out. Ask your dentist for a recommendation on how often to change toothbrushes and other hygiene tips.
3. A tooth-healthy diet plan. Include portable healthy lunch items and snacks in your child’s sack lunch, including grains, milk, cheese, raw vegetables, yogurt, or fruit. If your child eats in the school cafeteria, review healthy, balanced food choices with him/her before the first day of school. It is always a good idea to reduce sugary foods and soft drinks as excessive sugar can not only cause dental decay but is also unhealthy for a young person’s overall health.
4. Wearing a properly fitted mouthguard while participating in organized sports, PE classes, or playground activities.
Children who have one or more new cavities at each dental check-up should be considered at high risk for tooth decay. You should talk to your dentist about what preventive measures he or she recommends if your child is cavity prone. Regular visits to the dentist and following the advice of your dentist should help students have a cavity-free school year.
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