With school back in session, you may be wondering how kids will be able to keep their teeth healthy while being away from home. This is important to think about as teeth and gum problems in children can cause permanent effects on how their adult teeth grow in. Additionally, teeth problems such as toothaches and cavities can affect performance at school and are a common cause of student absences. With this in mind, parents should go the extra mile to ensure that their kids still practice proper oral hygiene even when they are not there to supervise them.
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The first thing that can be done is starting the day with a nutritious breakfast and having your child brush and floss their teeth before heading out to school. While at school there are other things besides brushing and flossing that can be done that will help keep your childs’ teeth healthy.
Here are some helpful tips:
Pack Lunches Instead of Giving Money To Purchase Food
Managing what your child eats is a sure-fire way of keeping them away from sugar and starch-laden foods. Pack healthy lunch options complete with fruits and vegetables to make sure they are receiving the proper nutrition necessary to strengthen the health of their gums and teeth.
If you give lunch money, your child has the freedom to buy what they choose. This might include unhealthy beverages, candies and chocolates that will not only affect their overall health but will also cause teeth deterioration in the long run.
Pack Water Rather Than Juice, Tea or Soda
Teach your child the importance of consuming water over juice, tea or soda. Water not only helps cleanse the mouth but has no harmful effect to the enamel of the teeth. Soda, juice and tea all contain sugar and are acidic which can cause teeth to rot. Also, soda, tea and juice can cause dis-coloration of the enamel of the teeth causing yellow teeth.
Pack a Portable Grooming Kit
At home, teach your child the importance of good oral hygiene. By placing importance on this, then good habits will form and carry on even while at school. Buy a portable grooming kit that can easily be kept in a backpack. Make sure the kit is complete with a toothbrush, a toothpaste and tooth floss so they can practice good oral hygiene with ease.
You might also want to encourage other parents to do the same. It’s easier for a child to brush their teeth at school if their friends are doing the same.
Provide Chew Gum
If chewing gum is allowed during recess and lunch, have your child chew sugarless gum for 20 minutes after eating. The act of chewing causes an increase of flow of saliva in the mouth. The saliva flow can help neutralize acids, wash away food debris and help prevent plaque from building up. Chewing sugarless gum that contains xylitol has been shown to neutralize pH and help prevent tooth decay, so check to see that the gum you choose uses xylitol as an active ingredient.
Ensuring excellent oral health even when your kids are at school might be easier than you think with these tips. Couple this with regular visits to your Burnaby Dentist and you and your child are taking excellent measures for preventing cavities and creating a healthy mouth. If you have questions about your child’s oral health, please be sure to speak with your Dentist at North Burnaby Dental Group.