5 Dental Tips To Help Your Child Have a Healthy School Year

posted by Dr. Beau Beecher, DDS on 10/23/2023 in General

man, woman, and two young children brushing their teeth together

New backpack? Check. Shiny sneakers? Check. Organized binders? Check. Healthy dental routine?...Maybe? A new school year is in full swing and you've diligently stocked up on your children’s school supplies, re-enrolled them in after-school activities, and bought them new clothes. But amidst all the excitement, have you adequately prepared your children for a healthy school year?   

Thankfully, even if they've veered off course during summer break, it's a breeze to reintegrate  healthy dental habits into your children's daily routine. Learn the essential tips your children need to keep their teeth healthy and steer clear of cavities, gingivitis, and other dental issues.

5 Dental Tips To Help Your Child Have a Healthy School Year

Tip 1: Make Sure They’re Brushing and Flossing Properly  

A crucial part of good oral hygiene for kids is ensuring they are brushing and flossing their teeth correctly. Proper brushing technique involves gentle back-and-forth or circular motions, dedicating at least ten seconds to each of the four quadrants in the mouth. A thorough brushing routine should span at least two minutes.

Flossing effectively means taking 18 to 24 inches of dental floss, wrapping the ends around the index and middle fingers, and leaving a one to two-inch section for maneuvering. This smaller section of floss is then slid gently in between teeth to remove food particles. 

Tip 2: Try an Electric Toothbrush Or Water Flosser

Should your children find brushing or flossing challenging, it's worth considering alternative solutions. An electric toothbrush that rotates or vibrates may be easier to use than a manual toothbrush, and can actually deliver more thorough cleaning results. There’s a wide array of kid-friendly electric toothbrushes you can explore with your children.  

Additionally, when it comes to flossing, there are also other options. For instance, the aptly named water flosser directs a stream of water between teeth to dislodge trapped food particles. Another great flossing option are floss picks that provide a piece of floss attached to a small handle, making it easier to floss those hard to reach places in your mouth.

Tip 3: Eat Healthier Food and Drink Plenty of Water

Diet plays a vital role in keeping your children's teeth healthy. Fruits and vegetables like apples and carrots can strengthen teeth, while sugary foods and drinks like soda, juice and sports drinks can weaken them.

When preparing your children’s lunches, add healthy, calcium-rich foods that will contribute to strong teeth. Steer clear of unhealthy choices. Teach your children which foods are nutritious and how eating healthy can positively impact their physical and mental well-being. This way, when your kids are at school or at a friend’s house they will be more inclined to opt for health-conscious choices.  

Drinking plenty of water — at least eight glasses a day — can also lead to better dental health. Water not only hydrates your body, but also rinses away food particles in the teeth, gums, and  mouth. This removal of food particles reduces the presence of plaque and lowers the likelihood of developing cavities. 

Tip 4: See if They Need a Mouthguard or Night Guard 

If your kids participate in sports, it's crucial to equip them with mouthguards to safeguard their teeth, mouth, and gums from potential injuries. Consult your children’s dentist for suitable mouthguard options.

Additionally, if your kids experience frequent headaches it could be indicative of subconscious teeth grinding or clenching during sleep, a condition known as bruxism. This is actually quite common in children and adults. Have your children’s dentist examine for signs of bruxism. If the condition is confirmed, the dentist can create a custom night guard or refer you to a specialist who can make one.

Tip 5: Stay Consistent With Dental Appointments 

 As your children's teeth continue to grow and develop, maintaining regular dental appointments — one every six months — is crucial. These routine visits not only allow for a thorough cleaning of teeth and gums, it also gives the dentist an opportunity to monitor progress of your children’s teeth. If kids are nervous about going to the dentist, book family appointments so they can see you or an older sibling go through their dental examination first. It will help them feel braver when it’s time for them to sit in the dental chair.

Get a Healthy Routine With a Kimball & Beecher Dentist

To help your kids' teeth continue to be healthy, you need a dental partner who can provide support and services. Let a skilled Kimball & Beecher dentist be that support system for you. We are renowned for our family-friendly and comfortable atmosphere, which is why we are a favorite among our younger patients. 

Contact us to schedule an appointment today.

About The Author

Dr. Beau Beecher, DDS

Dr. Beau Beecher is the founder and CEO, of Kimball and Beecher Family Dentistry. Kimball and Beecher Family Dentistry is known for being a patient-centered practice that puts comfort and convenience first. Over 50,000 patients in Iowa cities travel miles to experience the high level of ... read more

Get the smile you've always wantedSchedule an Appointment