The school year has creeped up on us again. And as we scramble to get our kids ready for another school year, I thought I would make my annual appeal for good oral health!
Children with poor oral health are three times more likely to miss school because of dental problems, according to the American Dental Association. Last year alone, school-aged kids missed more than 51 million hours of education because of this reason.
Prevention and early detection of dental issues such as cavities can help avoid absences during the school year. So, when you are creating your child’s back to school checklist – don’t forget a trip to the dentist. Keep these five things in mind:
- August is a dental specialists busiest time, so if you can, plan ahead and get an appointment instead for the beginning of summer. (remember this for next year!)
- Encourage kids to develop a routine of brushing and flossing twice a day, in the morning and at bedtime to avoid cavities in the first place. And make sure they are polite to the dentist – and brush before each appointment.
- If your child is younger, you might want to refamiliarize them with the dentist with activity sheets about what to expect during their appointment.
- Leave you parent anxiety at the door – kids will sense when you are nervous about their dental appointment.
- Grab a handful of the dentist’s business cards on the way out to leave with the school, camp, and recreational coach. And make sure you get an appointment card for next year’s visit.
If parents help their kids follow all of these simple steps, their dental health will be right on track, and maybe they won’t need my services as much when they are all grown up!