Don’t Forget Your Back to School Smile!
From annual physical exams to classroom hearing and vision screenings, there are many checkups that are part of the back to school prep routine but one integral exam often slips through the cracks…dental hygiene! Dental exams should be part of each child’s annual health checkup to ensure good habits and a healthy smile down the road.
Annual checkups are the cornerstone to preventing future issues. Children are not nearly as vigilant about regular flossing and brushing as adults- approximately 50 percent of children ages 5 to 9 have at least one cavity.
Maintaining a regular schedule of professional cleanings can greatly reduce the likelihood of toothaches, cavities and gum inflammation. Preventative dental care detects issues early on which not only saves time and money, it prevents pain for the child. A painful toothache or chronic dental pain can lead to difficulty eating, speaking and concentrating- which is an issue both inside and outside the classroom.
If your child is afraid of going to the dentist, look for ways to make the trip more exciting and special. Talk about how even his favorite animal at the zoo goes to the dentist, or read a book about a first dental visit like The Berenstain Bears Visit the Dentist or Golden LookBook’s Just Going to the Dentist. Once he understands that the dentist is a fun and safe place and that all of his friends go to, he will be excited for his next checkup. Reward him for good behavior and good brushing with a new toy or a special treat at the movies.
Remember, good dental hygiene is the key to good dental and physical health now and in the future. Don’t skip this dentist this back-to-school season!