You’ve bought the new backpacks, replaced last year’s paper and pencils, and you’ve even taken care of the back-to-school haircuts. But if it still feels like you’re forgetting something important, when was the last time you checked up on your child’s oral health? Here are some oral health updates that you should consider before sending your children back to school this year.
Oral Health Exam and Cleaning
This is the easiest and most obvious way to check in on your child’s oral health. Back to school is also the perfect time to get your child’s dental exam taken care of so any potential problems can be corrected before they result in missed school days. It’s also a great way to get feedback from Dr. Abelar about any oral health areas that could be improved upon, like brushing or flossing - especially if your child is about to go off to college where you can’t remind them to floss as easily.
Back-to-school supply shopping is the perfect opportunity to replace toothbrushes or brush heads. Brushes should be replaced every two to three months, or whenever bristles begin to look bent or fan out. Choose a brush with soft bristles unless otherwise instructed, and make sure your child has plenty of floss, toothpaste and mouthwash, too. For young adults heading off to college, send them to campus with at least enough brushes to carry them over until their next trip home - and one spare, just in case.
New Mouth Guards
If your child grinds his or her teeth or plays sports, back to school is the perfect time to update mouth guards, or at least have them checked out by Dr. Abelar to make sure they still fit and work properly. Go ahead and replace boil-and-bite guards from last school year with one that’s cleaner and fits more accurately. The teeth can shift over a few months - especially if your child hasn’t gotten all his or her adult teeth or wears braces - and the mouth guard can change shape too.
Has your child been evaluated for orthodontics? Are you concerned he or she may need braces? Back to school is also a great time to get an orthodontic evaluation scheduled, especially with so many routine changes. Scheduling orthodontic appointments sooner than later can help ensure that you have enough time in your schedule to bring your child to these vital progress checks throughout the year.
We know back to school is a busy and sometimes stressful time of year, but before you know it, it will be time for school pictures (smile!) and the rush of the holidays. Plan your family’s oral health needs well in advance, so it can be one less thing to worry about when things get really busy. To make an appointment, call us at 858-866-9692.