We all know that as our routine of school days begin, our schedules get more hectic! But that doesn't mean we need to let our dental care fall behind.
Its easy to forget to brush on those hectic early school mornings, but it is important to make brushing part of the routine.
The following are some tips to keeping those pearly whites clean during this busy time of year:
- Brush before breakfast: Studies show that if we brush before we eat it helps to prevent our pH from dropping to an unsafe level. The lower the pH the more concern we have for cavities forming in the mouth.
- Watch what you eat: Its not only great for the rest of your body to watch what you eat, but great for your teeth also! Foods that are highly processed or contain high levels of sugar are dangerous for your teeth.
- Take Shelf life into consideration: Packaged foods that have a longer shelf life compared to fresh fruits and vegetables contain starch. Starch coats the teeth and can be a breeding ground for bacteria which eventually can cause decay. Since schools carry many of these starchy items, try and watch what you keep on hand at home- think fresh!
- Drink lots of water: Many people think that juice is a healthy choice to drink, but forget that often times they have sugar added. Juice is a better choice than soda typically, but water is the best choice! Keeping hydrated is great for your body and teeth also! If your kids cannot tolerate plain water, try infusing water with cucumber, strawberries or lemon to give flavor without the sugar.
Opting to give your children fresh fruit is great to increase their fiber as well, making for a balanced diet.
- Wear protective equipment: We all know children love to be outside, which we want them to maintain being active. Make sure your kids are wearing appropriate safety equipment especially if they are playing football, soccer, hockey or baseball. Some protective equipment recommended depending on the sport are helmets, pads and even mouth guards!
- Seek help as soon as possible: If injury occurs to one of your children seek help even if it doesn't hurt. Problems can develop over time, often without you realizing it. For example, a small fall where your child lands on their face may lead to damage to the root of a tooth. If a permanent tooth is knocked out, replace it within 30 minutes. Do not rinse the tooth off even if it appears dirty, water may damage the root.
- No pain doesn't always mean no cavities: Having regular dental check ups is important for detecting cavities. Children may not notice discomfort until severely infected. Seeing your dentist 2x per year is important!
- Do your kids wear braces?: Extra care needs to be taken with keeping plaque off the teeth and around the brackets. Cavities can form around the brackets if extra care is not given. Its great to incorporate an electric power brush or waterpik to help with keeping brackets clean.
We hope everyone is enjoying getting back to school and into their routines! Summer went by too quickly for all of us at Piney Creek Family Dentistry! We look forward to seeing all the kiddo smiles as they head back, please call to schedule their next checkup if they haven't been seen in the past 6 months.
Dr Tiffany Fritz and team