Parents are rejoicing and kids are groaning, which must mean it’s back to school time! While you’re busy school supply shopping, finishing up summer reading, and getting ready to get back to a routine, don’t forget about your child’s oral health!
While a dentist visit might not seem as fun as that last trip to the beach, a visit to Dr. Jacob McLauchlin and your child’s regular pediatrician is a good idea to make sure they get off to a healthy start this school year.
Preventing Cavities in Children
A healthy mouth is important to a healthy body, especially in young, developing bodies! Now is the time to make sure your child’s teeth are well-maintained. They’re losing baby teeth and their adult teeth are starting to settle into their permanent positions, and they have to last the rest of their lives.
Did you know that over half of children aged 5-9 have at least one cavity? You can avoid this statistic by encouraging your child to brush for 2 minutes twice a day. This is called the 2 X 2 rule. Also, make sure you’re helping your child floss at least once a day to keep plaque from building up between teeth. During regular visits at Mac Dental, we take time to show our younger patients how to brush and floss correctly.
Following the 2 X 2 rule is easy nowadays, especially with the number of high-quality toothpastes out there for kids. There are also timers available to help kids stay on track and brush for 2 minutes. This will strengthen enamel and keep young teeth strong for life.
You can also help maintain your child’s oral health by discouraging snacking on sugary foods and drinks, including popular sports drinks! Too much sugar feeds the bacteria in the mouth, which leads to plaque build-up and gum disease.
If your child is especially prone to cavities or if you struggle with a low-sugar diet, you can talk to Dr. McLauchlin about preventative sealants. This procedure will fill in pits and grooves on molar teeth to make them less favorable for mouth bacteria to settle and erode tooth enamel. This is particularly effective if your child has trouble reaching the back of the mouth with their toothbrush, which many kids do.
Tooth decay is especially prevalent among school-age children, and tooth-related illnesses account for 52 million school hours lost each year! To keep cavities at bay and promote good oral health, make sure you include a dental check-up on your back-to-school to-do list!