With over 51 million school hours missed per year because of dental problems, we think it’s pretty safe to say that taking steps to prevent dental problems and dental emergencies in school age children is a good idea.  Here are some back to school dental tips and reminders for our patient’s and their families.

Supervise Dental HygieneIn younger children, this is especially important.  Instruct them on proper brushing and flossing.  Check their work to make sure they have cleaned all the way in back and behind their front teeth.  Talk about healthy teeth, and the importance of maintaining good personal hygiene.

Don’t Skip Regular Dental Check-UpsThe best way to avoid the need for extensive dental work is to detect problems early.  Seeing the dentist every six months for and exam and dental cleaning makes this possible, and prevents small problems from turning into bigger, more expensive and more time consuming problems.

Wear A Sports Mouthguard Some of the most common sports injuries are dental injuries.  Youth athletics are an important part of life for many kids, and dental injuries can happen in any sport.  Make sure your child or teen wears a dental mouth guard to protect his/her teeth during practice and games.  Ask your dentist about custom-fitted mouth guards for added protection.

Did Your Teen Get His Braces Off This Summer? Make sure they are wearing their retainers!  Orthodontic relapse is seen in young adults as old as 25!  Retainers are designed to maintain the position of the teeth, and must be worn as often as prescribed by the orthodontist.  Keep teeth from shifting by helping your teen make sure they are compliant with the use of their retainers.

Pack A Healthy LunchThe foods we eat can impact our dental health.  Pack fresh veggies and fruits for a vitamin packed energy burst.  Avoid sugary drinks and sodas in the lunch box.  Cheese is a great snack option because it has recently been shown to help protect teeth against cavities!