7 Dental Tips for a Perfect Back-to-School Season
Going back to school implies a lot of transformations in family life. Preparing materials, packing backpacks, and meeting with classmates produce a lot of emotions in little ones. Sleep and eating habits will also have to be restored. On the other hand, oral health is another issue that must be taken into account but is sometimes overlooked. Therefore, in this article, we’ll tell you some dental tips for a perfect back-to-school experience.
Take note of these dental tips for a perfect back to school
After months of vacation and, perhaps, some neglect in habits, it’s time to make sure again that the oral health of your child is in optimal conditions. A healthy and well-cared-for mouth will allow kids to enjoy their daily activities without any inconvenience. Discover these 7 dental tips to take care of your child’s mouth when they go back to school.
1. Get back into a good sleep and rest routine
You may not think that sleep has much to do with the health of the mouth. But getting your little one proper rest is one of the most appropriate dental tips for a perfect back-to-school routine. When children go to bed early, it’s easier for them to fall asleep. Thus, if they sleep well, for example, they’re less likely to grind their teeth.
Bruxism is a habit that consists of clashing, clenching, and grinding the lower teeth against the upper ones. If this habit becomes excessive and repeated, there’s a risk of wearing down the dental pieces and causing muscular pain and consequences in the temporomandibular joint.
In children, grinding may be transitory and typical of the period of dental replacement. However, in some children, it’s associated with stress and lack of rest. It also happens when the child experiences anxiety or tension.
If going back to school is a cause of anxiety for your child, causes restless dreams, or produces bruxism during the night, it’s important to accompany them in this process. It’s most likely that it’s temporary and will disappear when resuming routines. However, if you notice that the habit persists, you should consult your pediatric dentist.
2. Maintain the habit of oral hygiene
Despite being on vacation, hygiene and oral care habits shouldn’t be neglected. In any case, if the flexibility of schedules or the lack of routine over the summer made tooth brushing lose its importance, it’s time to give it the relevance it deserves every day.
Adults, depending on the age of the child, should perform or accompany this task. In any case, establishing together the best time for brushing allows little ones to start taking care of their bodies. This way, they’ll know that when they wake up, after meals, and before going to sleep, they need to clean their mouths. Allowing them to choose their own brush and a pleasant-tasting toothpaste and incorporating songs or games into the routine will motivate them to brush.
3. Prepare a dental hygiene kit for school
If your child eats at school, this is another back-to-school dental tip that will help them take care of their oral health. Meals away from home can be a risk factor if some aspects aren’t taken care of.
To do this, you can talk to teachers to find out if there’s a time after lunch for this purpose or if the institution promotes oral health care. If it’s possible for your child to brush their teeth at school, you should prepare an oral cleaning kit, which should include the following:
- A case
- Dental floss
- Fluoride toothpaste. In this case, you should show your child how much to use, or else, allow them to brush without toothpaste at school
4. Rinse mouth with water
If your child’s school doesn’t allow enough time for oral hygiene between classes, you can teach your child to rinse their mouth with water after eating. It’s better to remove food residue with water rather than keeping the residue on the teeth. While this practice isn’t a substitute for brushing, it can be a good measure to take care of the mouth during school hours.
5. Plan the recess meal
Thinking about what meals your children will take for lunch each day is another dental tip to consider for back-to-school. Making sure school meals are healthy helps prevent mouth problems.
It’s common for parents to turn to juices, sugary drinks, pastries, and ultra-processed foods for snacks because they’re readily available and solve the problem quickly. But the fact of the matter is that a diet with a lot of added sugar and simple carbohydrates can cause damage to the teeth. In addition, this type of diet doesn’t provide the nutrients needed by children in their growth and development stage.
The ideal snack is one with little or no added sugar to prevent tooth decay. In addition, it should have a high protein value to give the body the energy it needs. Some good choices are as follows:
- Sandwiches with whole wheat bread
6. Protect the mouth
If your child is involved in sports activities, they’re more at risk of suffering dental trauma. In this case, it’s important to use mouthguards to avoid fractures and damage to their teeth. Using this product in physical education classes, at recess, and when playing contact sports will decrease the risk of mouth injuries.
7. Visit the dentist
Scheduling an appointment with the pediatric dentist for going back to school is another dental tip to help your child’s oral health. A dental check-up at the beginning of the school year allows you to assess the state of the mouth and, if any treatment is necessary, to carry it out in a timely manner. In addition, diet and carelessness during vacations can favor the appearance of cavities and other problems in the mouth. Therefore, consulting a dentist will allow you to solve any inconvenience in time. This way, you won’t have to interrupt your children’s classes because they have a toothache or need emergency treatment.
Dental tips to enjoy going back to school
By taking care of your child’s oral health in a timely manner, you prevent complications and bring them well-being in their day-to-day life. If you put these back-to-school dental tips into practice, your child will be able to enjoy the school year with a healthy and radiant smile.
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Fernández, O. C. (2016). Bruxismo en niños. Salud Militar, 35(2), 28-37.
- Herrera Boza, M. D. (2021). El bruxismo y su relación con las alteraciones temporomandibulares en pacientes pediátricos. Revisión sistemática.
- Guzmán Guillén, M. K. (2021). Factores de riesgo de bruxismo de sueño en niños y adolescentes (Bachelor’s thesis, Universidad de Guayaquil. Facultad Piloto de Odontología).
- Maes Segovia, L. Evaluación de la efectividad de los programas nutricionales escolares para mejorar la calidad de las meriendas.
- BIELSA, S. Y., RUEDA, D. N., LLAGOSTERA, C. L., DURÁN, A. V., & JIMENO, F. G. (2022). Prevalencia de caries en niños de entre 4 y 15 años de edad y su asociación con el consumo de alimentos ultraprocesados. ODONTOL PEDIÁTR, 30(1), 14-24.
- Quinteros Hinojosa, M. (2018). Evaluación de los trastornos del sueño en una población infantil y sua asociación con el bruxismo del sueño informado por padres o cuidadores.
- Díaz Ariza, J. M. (2021). Etiología del bruxismo del sueño en niños: estudio de factores psicosociales y fisiológicos.
- Leyva-Brooks, S., Matos-Gamboa, J. C., & Sánchez-Fernández, N. E. (2021). Intervención educativa sobre prevención de caries dental en una escuela primaria. Gaceta Médica Estudiantil, 2(1), 90.