SaludToday Guest Blogger
Jefferson Dental Clinics
Kids miss 51 million hours of school a year for dental health issues.
Latino kids face missing more time due to particular disparities that can further exacerbate the effects of poor oral health, such as difficulty with speech and articulation, trouble eating, lack of focus and lowered self-esteem.
So, for back to school time, make sure Latino and all kids have the best start to the year by taking these four steps toward a healthy smile:
Pick healthy school snacks. Kids of all ages need snacks and meals that are rich in healthy vitamins and minerals such as Calcium, Vitamin C, Iron, Phosphorous and Vitamin K to help build healthy smiles. Prepack snacks that are both healthy and great for teeth, like cheese, carrots, celery, apples and kiwis.
Stop snacking right before bedtime. Snacking right before bedtime can buildup sugars and bacteria that rest on the teeth until brushing in the morning. Avoid sticky snacks like candies or dried fruit that can cling to the surface of the teeth. If you must have a snack, pick a snack that is healthy for teeth then brush, floss and rinse thoroughly before bed.
Establish a twice-daily dental care routine. Kids should be in the habit of brushing and flossing twice daily. Select children’s toothpaste, dental floss and mouthwash in your child’s preferred flavor. Kids should brush for two minutes and floss between every tooth. A timer can help kids best keep track of the appropriate amount of time to brush.
Make a dental visit part of your back-to-school process. In preparation for a healthy year, make an appointment to see your dentist. Dental visits are a great time to make sure that teeth are developing properly, as well as discuss any concerns. Your dentist can also reinforce proper at-home care techniques and talk to your child about how to best care for their teeth.
For more oral wellness tips, go here.