|Back to school and the dentist|
Parents and kids, it's back to school time, and below are some dental tips and hints to keep children's teeth and gums clean and healthy...and to help your kids off to a good start with great diet and oral health!
DIETSchool days can be hectic and in a rush, so don't forget to include healthy snacks that are good for the teeth and the body. Your body and mouth will appreciate it :)
- Celery and carrot sticks contain fiber and vitamin A; the fiber helps cleanse plaque from teeth
- Apple slices, crunchy fruit high in fiber promoted salivary flow that helps washes bacteria away
- Grapes, raisins, and cranberries are great snacks containing natural sugars for that quick pick me up
- Fruit and yogurt smoothies, high in calcium, good for teeth and bones
- Nonfat or lowfat milk which are rich in calcium and fortified Vitamin D, great for making your kid's teeth strong
ORAL HYGIENEImportant to make sure your children brush in the mornings when they wake up, and also brush and floss in the evening prior to bedtime. Brush their tongue to remove bacteria and help keep their breath fresh. If your kids are in current orthodontic treatment (ie. braces) it's especially important for them to brush and floss well, as plaque and bacteria can accumulate on the bands and brackets, and increase risk for cavities.
DENTAL TIPS AT SCHOOLSchool days can be busy, so here are some ideas to help keep your kids' teeth and gums healthy at school:
- If your child has an orthodontic retainer, make sure the retainer is worn in the mouth at all times unless it's during lunch or snack time. To prevent retainer loss, keep the retainer in sight at all times and make it habit to wear it when not eating. It's not uncommon to see kids digging through the school trash looking for a lost retainer!
- Avoid sucking on hard candy or chewing sugary gum during the day. Try sugarless gum.
- Avoid sipping on soda or energy drinks during the day. They are often high in sugar and the high phosphoric acid content can weaken the teeth's enamel. Bottled or tap water are good substitutes.
- The occasional soft or hard candy is OK. Try to rinse the mouth with water after eating to help prevent sugar from remaining on the teeth.
- For lunch try to choose salads and low fat milk.
From your gentle family dentist in Bellevue,
Peter Chien, DMD, MPH