It may still be summer, but the first day of school will be here before you know it! One of the best ways to set your child up for success this school year, is to ensure they have a healthy smile. So, when making your back-to-school check list, do not forget to include a visit for your kids to see the dentist for a checkup and professional cleaning.
Did you know that cavities are the most common chronic disease affecting school-age kids? According to The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI):
“Children with poor oral health are nearly three times more likely to miss school as a result of dental pain. Absences caused by (oral) pain were associated with poorer school performance. Children with poorer oral health status were more likely to experience dental pain, miss school, and perform poorly in school. These findings suggest that improving children’s oral health status may be a vehicle to enhancing their educational experience.”
Here are some tips on how what to expect during your child’s back-to-school dental checkup and how to ensure they have a good experience:
Healthy Habits Start at Home
Visiting the dentist twice a year for a professional cleaning and a thorough exam of your child’s mouth, teeth and gums is the best way to detect and prevent any issues that can cause pain or make it challenging for them to speak or eat, all of which can lead to school absences. Equally important is establishing healthy dental habits that are practiced at home, including brushing at least twice a day for a full two minutes – try using a timer to make it more fun – and brushing at night, as well as using mouth rinse. As your child gets older, be sure to encourage their abilities to care for their teeth independently, but still be supportive and helpful when needed. Teenagers especially still need reminders and accountability for establishing good oral hygiene habits that will last them a lifetime.
Going to the dentist can be both exciting and nerve wracking, so scheduling your visit at the optimal time is very important. Try to avoid scheduling it at the end of a busy day, when your child will be tired out from camp or other activities. Make sure they are well fed – since hungry usually equals cranky. If they eat a snack or meal prior to the visit, try to brush their teeth afterwards. If you can’t brush, swishing water around their mouth to remove food particles is the next best thing! If your children are still napping, try to take them after their nap time so they are well rested.
Come With Questions
Once you are at the dental office for your child’s checkup, there will be a lot going on, from filling out forms, to listening to what the doctor and hygienist have to say, to holding your child’s hand. So, don’t wait until after the appointment has begun to try to think of questions and/or concerns. Take some time prior to the visit to make a list. Some things to consider asking or discussing upon arrival could include:
- Do you plan to take x-rays of my child’s teeth today?
- Should my child’s mouthguard be examined and/or replaced?
- How is my child’s dental health overall and are there any things we can be doing differently to improve it?
- Will my child need braces?
- Any concerns you may have about your child’s oral health
At Roselle Park Dental & Implants We Help Little Smiles Shine! Helping younger patients enjoy bright, healthy smiles is very important to us. That’s why our team of doctors includes Dr. Reham Hassan, a pediatric dentist who cares for every child with enthusiasm, compassion, and patience with the goal to relinquish any fear of visiting the dentist and replace it with smiles! Dr. Hassan cares for every child – encouraging bright smiles and happy, healthy living.
Call us today at (908) 998-4698 – or visit us online to schedule appointments for the whole family!
Author: Sara Magnola Taner is an online marketing and communications specialist – with a website development and editorial background – who has 15 years of experience creating and editing clear, compelling content on diverse topics across a wide range of mediums.