It’s the start of a new school year and your little ones have the latest wardrobe and a new backpack full of school supplies. You’ve done everything to help them succeed in class, but what about their oral health?

According to the American Dental Association, a dental check-up should be a regular part of back-to-school preparations. IT IS just as important as immunizations and booster shots.

In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have reported that tooth decay affects U.S. children more than any other chronic infectious disease. 19% of children ages 2 to 19 years old have untreated tooth decay. More importantly, dental pain or disease can lead to difficulty in eating, speaking, playing and learning. This could mean millions of hours of missed school.

To help your child establish positive dental habits, Dr. Jaju, Dr. Dang and the team at Smile Wonders have come up with 4 easy tips to include in your back-to-school checklist:

  • Book regular check ups. Get regular dental exams to diagnose, prevent or treat dental problems. Because parents and teachers may not realize that there’s a dental problem, it’s important to schedule regular oral exams. This will also get your child more comfortable with going to the dentist for teeth cleanings.

  • Stick to a dental routine. Make brushing twice a day and flossing each night a consistent, mandatory part of every day. You can make it fun for the kids by allowing them to pick a toothbrush and floss of their favorite color or character. Also, remember to change to a new toothbrush every three months or so, or after an illness.

  • Pack healthy lunches and snacks. Include healthy lunch items and snacks like grains, milk, cheese, raw vegetables, yogurt or fruit. If your child eats in the school cafeteria, review healthy, balanced food choices with him before the first day of school. Avoid sugary foods, crackers, cookies and soft drinks – they are the biggest culprits for causing cavities. Also encourage your kids to drink water regularly. We all know it is great for the body, but it is also great for your teeth.

  • Get a mouth guard If your child is in any sports or contact activities, ask your dentist about mouth guards. Make sure your little one wears a properly fitted mouthguard while participating in contact sports, PE classes or playground activities.

If you haven’t scheduled a dental exam for your kids, contact Smile Wonders for an appointment today!