As the school year gets started and your family settles into a new routine, it’s crucial to think about more than just school supplies and schedules. Your child’s oral health should also be a top priority. Dr. Huynh and the team at Eastport Dental in Mesa, AZ, understand the importance of maintaining healthy teeth throughout the school year. In fact, dental diseases are one of the most common reasons for children to miss classroom time throughout the academic year. Staying ahead of dental issues before they start can help limit school absences so that your child performs better in the classroom.
Start With a Dental Checkup at Eastport Dental
Before you get too far into the school year, it’s a great idea to schedule a routine dental checkup with Dr. Huynh at Eastport Dental. Regular dental visits are the cornerstone of great oral health. These visits allow us to monitor your child’s teeth, catch any issues early, and provide preventive care and guidance. Here’s what you can expect during a dental checkup:
Comprehensive Examination: Dr. Huynh will examine your child’s teeth, gums, and oral tissues for any signs of decay, disease, or developmental concerns. Early detection is key to addressing issues before they become more significant and costlier to correct.
Professional Cleaning: Our registered dental hygienists will thoroughly clean your child’s teeth, removing plaque and tartar buildup. This helps prevent cavities and gum disease, promoting a healthy smile. They’ll also apply fluoride and/or sealants when applicable.
X-rays (if necessary): Dr. Huynh may recommend intermittent dental X-rays to get a more in-depth view of your child’s oral health. X-rays can reveal hidden issues that may not be visible during a visual examination, such as impacted or missing teeth, cysts, orthodontic concerns, and decay.
Oral Health Education: Our team will provide valuable advice on age-appropriate oral hygiene techniques, including brushing and flossing. We’ll also discuss dietary habits and their impact on your child’s future oral health.
Encourage Healthy Drinks
What your child drinks has a significant impact on their dental health. While it’s important to stay hydrated, not all beverages are created equal when it comes to oral health. Here are some guidelines to keep in mind:
- Water is the Best Choice: Encourage your child to drink tap water throughout the day. Water not only keeps them hydrated but also helps rinse away food particles and bacteria that can lead to cavities. Tap water has regulated fluoride levels and is typically “better” than bottled water.
- Limit Sugary and Acidic Drinks: Sugary beverages like soda and fruit juices can contribute to tooth decay. If your child indulges in one every now and then, encourage them to use a straw to minimize contact with their teeth and rinse their mouth with water afterward.
- Say No to Sports Drinks: While sports drinks may seem like a good way to rehydrate after everyday physical activity, they often contain high levels of sugar and acid. Opt for water or a sugar-free sports drink if necessary. Reserve sports drinks with electrolytes for extremely rigorous activities or high-temperature days.
- Milk is a Winner: Milk is an excellent source of calcium, which is essential for strong teeth and bones. Encourage your child to drink milk, especially during meals. But don’t let your child go to bed with a bottle or cup of milk or sip on it for hours throughout the day because even milk’s natural sugars can feed acidic dental plaque. It’s all about moderation!
Remember to Pack Nutritious Snacks
School days often mean snacking between meals, and the choices your child makes can impact their oral health. Instead of processed, packaged, or sugary snacks, pack nutritious options that promote good dental health:
- Fresh Fruits and Vegetables: Crunchy fruits and vegetables like apples, carrots, and celery can help clean teeth naturally. They also provide essential vitamins and minerals.
- Dairy Products: Cheese, yogurt, and milk are rich in calcium and can strengthen tooth enamel. They also help regulate the pH level in the mouth, reducing the risk of cavities.
- Nuts and Seeds: These snacks are high in protein and low in sugar. They can stimulate saliva production, which helps neutralize acids and protect teeth. Their Omega-3 fatty acids are also great for gum health.
Consider a Sports Mouthguard
If your child is involved in sports activities during the school year, it’s essential to protect their teeth and mouth from potential injuries. Dr. Huynh can provide a custom-fitted sports mouthguard that offers superior protection compared to over-the-counter options. A properly fitted mouthguard can prevent injuries like broken teeth, lip lacerations, and even concussions.
Schedule Your Child’s Appointment Today
Dr. Huynh and the dedicated team at Eastport Dental in Mesa, AZ, are here to support you in ensuring your child’s smile stays bright and healthy for years to come. Call us today to make their next appointment!