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Back to School Tips for a Healthy Smile

With the start of school, children are engaging in a detailed schedule of classes and other activities. Good oral hygiene habits should be implemented into this daily routine. As they become more independent, school age children should be informed about their choices in regards to diet and nutrition

Dental decay results from a dynamic process involving sugar found in the food we consume and the bacteria that live in our mouths. Cavity prevention involves brushing, flossing, and rinsing after meals to maintain a healthy environment inside the mouth. 

Here are some oral care tips for back to school:

1. Brush after breakfast. Many of us think to brush our teeth right after we wake up, mainly as a habit to tackle bad morning breath. However, brushing after breakfast helps keep cavity causing bacteria at bay for the start of the school day.

Tip: Remind the kids to brush before they rush out the door!

2. Snack on fresh fruits and vegetables. It's easy to find snacks loaded with refined carbohydrates but apples, bananas, coconuts and strawberries and many other natural products have been found to help keep your teeth healthy. 

Tip: Try this fun and healthy recipe for Healthy Ice Pop Smoothies from WeatherAnchorMama
3. Limit high sugar beverages. Carbonated drinks and fruit juices are often loaded with sugars that can cause many health issues including obesity and dental cavities. Drinking water is essential and fluoridated water can help to repair developing cavities. 

Tip: Dilute juices with water and offer your child filtered tap water.   

4. Brush after schoolCavities start developing immediately after we eat and most kids find it difficult to brush their teeth during the school day. So, be sure to make it top on the list once they return home from school. 

Tip: Offer kids sugarfree gum on the way to after school activities. Chewing Trident for twenty minutes after you eat has been proven to fight cavities. 
5. Brush before bedtime. Our saliva levels drop when we sleep. Before you go to bed, be sure to brush, floss, and rinse away all the food and bacteria that have been playing all day.

Tip: Making oral care a part of a healthy lifestyle sets the stage for a lifetime of good oral health.

6. Make visits to the dentist routine. Dental visits every six months are recommended to prevent and treat dental problems. 

Tip: Be sure to consult with your dental office about your child's particular cavity risk and preventive measures that may need to be implemented.