Make dental hygiene part of your back-to-school routine.
Making sure your child’s smile is healthy and ready for the school year is just as important as getting ready to head back to the classroom. That’s why We Make Kids Smile Pediatric Dentistry recommends that you establish a good oral hygiene routine and regularly visit our Waldorf or Prince Frederick, Maryland, offices before September comes for one of your child’s biannual dental checkups.
Start with the oral hygiene basics.
In order to have a good dental checkup at We Make Kids Smile, your kids need to have good oral hygiene habits.
It starts with brushing.
For tooth brushing, it’s important to have the right-sized toothbrush. Children have smaller mouths than adults, so make sure they are using a child-sized toothbrush with soft or extra soft bristles. Using a pea-sized amount of toothpaste, get your child to hold their toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to their teeth. Using small, circular motions, make sure every surface of the teeth gets brushed, including the front, back, and tops. A proper tooth brushing should take at least two minutes and they should brush their teeth at least twice a day.
Don’t forget to floss.
Another basic, but important, part of a dental hygiene routine is flossing. To start flossing, take a piece of dental floss about 18-inches long. Wrap the majority of the dental floss around the middle finger of your dominant hand, and wind about an inch of the other end of the dental floss around the middle finger of your non-dominant hand. The non-dominant hand will receive the used dental floss.
Keep about an inch of dental floss in between your two hands, and holding the dental floss taut between your index fingers and thumbs, gently slide the dental floss in between your teeth. Curve the floss against one side of the tooth and rub the dental floss gently up and down against the tooth to remove any plaque left behind.
After that side of the tooth is done, run the dental floss gently up and down the other tooth. After you’ve flossed between two teeth, gently slide the dental floss from between your teeth, and wind down the used dental floss to your non-dominant hand, leaving a clean piece of dental floss between your fingers. Repeat the flossing process for the rest of your mouth.
If your child is having issues with brushing or flossing, make sure you ask the team at We Make Kids Smile to show your child some tips and tricks to make sure they are taking proper care of their teeth and gums.
Stock up on dental supplies.
As you are stocking up on supplies for school, don’t forget to stock up on dental supplies, too. Make sure your child has a new toothbrush and plenty of toothpaste and dental floss. You may opt to get a travel toothbrush and toothpaste so your child can brush their teeth after lunch or after school. Look for dental products with the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal, which appears on all dental products with ADA approval.
Don’t get anxious for a dental visit.
Some children might get anxious for a dental visit, but there is no reason to be scared when visiting the team at We Make Kids Smile. While dental anxiety is common, our team will work with you and your child to make sure they are comfortable during their dental visit. We communicate what we will be doing during their dental evaluation and, if needed, we can provide distraction techniques to help your child feel comfortable. Have your child work on relaxation techniques, like deep breathing, to help them relax when they are at the dental office. And, as always, make sure your child knows it’s okay to speak up if they are feeling nervous or uncomfortable. We are here to work with you!
Preventative dentistry is the first step.
While a good daily oral hygiene routine is important to a great dental checkup and overall good dental health, there are some preventative dental treatments available to help keep your child’s smile intact.
It is important that everyone sees the dentist at least twice a year for a dental evaluation because this is where your dentist can check the overall health of your teeth and gums. If you get X-rays, your dentist will be able to see any weak spots on your teeth from tooth decay, which might lead to cavities. Catching these things before they grow is very important!
Fluoride treatments are another way to protect your child’s teeth. A fluoride treatment needs to be prescribed by your dentist. It involves applying fluoride, which is a mineral that helps keep the enamel on teeth strong, to your child’s teeth. This treatment is quick and painless, and can be done in tangent with a biannual cleaning.
If your dentist is worried about cavities in your child’s mouth, they may recommend dental sealants. Dental sealants are applied to your child’s molars to create a protective barrier, which helps to prevent cavities. Dental sealants are often recommended for children’s molars because those teeth can be difficult for a child to brush properly. Dental sealants can be applied right in our office, and are not painful to your child.
If you play sports, wear a mouthguard.
If your child plays sports, make sure they wear a mouthguard to protect their teeth! There are mouthguards that can be customized to fit your child’s mouth, meaning their teeth will be fully protected. Ask your dentist to recommend which brand of mouthguard they prefer for children.
Get your smile ready for the new school year!
While there is a lot to organize in the weeks leading up to the new school year, including new clothes, books, school supplies, and more, don’t forget to prioritize your smile. The team at We Make Kids Smile can make sure your child has a happy and healthy smile ready for a year of learning. And if you’re looking for some tips on how to improve your oral health routine or to keep up with brushing during your busy schedule, we have loads of tips for you too. Schedule your back-to-school appointment with the We Makes Kids Smile Pediatric Dentistry team, and start the school year off right!