As the summer starts to wind down and our focus starts to shift from beach days to backpacks and binders, it’s also a valuable time to remember our kids’ oral health. Whether you’re sending your student off to college or just starting his journey in kindergarten, incorporating a dental exam into your child’s back-to-school preparation is essential. Here’s your back-to-school oral health checklist.
Cleaning and Exam
If your child attends public school, chances are you will need to provide at least a vaccine record before the first day of school. In fact, many districts require a full medical exam prior to your child’s first day of kindergarten. Equally important? An oral health checkup! It may not be a requirement, but your child’s oral health is part of his or her overall health. In fact, according to the National Children's Oral Health Survey by Delta Dental Plans Association, American children miss approximately 9,067,082 school days per year due to oral health problems - and it's totally preventable! Don’t wait until there’s already a problem to fix it - schedule your family’s dental appointments before school to allow enough time to correct any problems prior to the first day.
Prepare for Sports
Fall sports are a time-honored tradition, but so are sports-related injuries. If your students are planning on playing fall sports this year, bring them in to be evaluated for a new mouth guard. As children grow and their adult teeth emerge, their old mouth guard may not fit from season to season. The same applies to children who have undergone orthodontic treatment.
For children who express discomfort or refuse to wear their mouth guard, a custom mouth guard can be an effective solution to both problems. That’s because the streamlined, custom fit to these types of guards make them much more comfortable and much more likely to be worn.
Summer is an ideal time to start orthodontic treatment, because it allows your child to adjust to the look and feel of their orthodontic appliance before heading back to school. The initial discomfort from new braces can be very distracting and make it very difficult for your child to focus in the classroom. Straighten out all the kinks with your child’s braces early, and they won’t miss a beat!
Make Lasting Memories
Finally, we would be remiss if we didn’t mention school pictures. Usually taken in the fall, your child’s school pictures capture a special time in their lives. But those photos can’t look their best if your child’s teeth look dull and discolored due to plaque buildup. Between yearbook photos, class pictures, senior pictures and all the other opportunities for your child’s image to be captured on film, it makes sense to keep those smiles looking their best at all times.
To schedule your family’s back-to-school dental exams, give Dr. Abelar’s office a call at 858-866-9692.