I work as a clerical assistant in a pediatric dental office, and I am commonly surprised by the number of children who are scared of the dentist. Many kids think that cleanings will be painful, and they believe they will be scolded for eating sugary foods. Children are also extremely frightful of the noises made by the water spraying tools and the suction devices. As adults, we know that dental cleanings are easy and free of pain. We need to impart this knowledge to our children so they know not to fear the dentist. I have provided blogs that will help you speak with your child about dental care. Good communication, trips to your own dentist, and online videos can assist you. So will good brushing techniques that will make your child proud to see the dentist. Enjoy my articles so you can help your child build oral care confidence.
Back-to-school season brings a long list of things that need to be done like clothes shopping and a trip to the local discount or stationery store for various school supplies. Somewhere along the way, you might also pick up a lunch box in anticipation of packing your child a lunch every school day. But when packing that lunch for optimal nutritional value it's a good idea to remember your child's dental health as well. Here are some tips to keep in mind to keep your child cavity-free this school year.
Pack a Bottle of Water Instead of Pop or Money for the Snack Bar
If you typically pack your child's lunch but give them a dollar to grab a drink at the cafeteria, this might not be the optimal way to ensure good dental health. Some children may opt for milk, but if soda pop or other sugary drinks are an option, guess which one your child is more likely to pick? You should also of course avoid packing sugary beverages yourself and just opt for a bottle of water most of the time. Water is sugar-free and can also be used as a tool to rinse out after the meal is finished.
Avoid Super Crunchy or Sticky Foods and Keep Sugar to a Minimum
If you want to pack one or two snack-type foods for your child to have as dessert, that's fine, but try and avoid anything that is going to coat your child's teeth and remain there for the rest of the school day. Sticky foods filled with sugar are a no-go. If your child has had issues with weak or broken teeth in the past, especially crunch foods like potato chips or hard pretzels may also not be a great idea.
Fruits and Veggies Can Also Be a Good Way to Clean Up Your Teeth
Some children may make a face when it comes to fruits and veggies, but hopefully your child has at least one or two options they are willing to try. Fruits and veggies can act as a bit of a "natural" toothbrush for your child. Crunching down on an apple, for example, may help scrape away some of the plaque buildup that would otherwise stick to your child's teeth. Just be sure your child washes away any lingering natural sugar from the fruit with that bottle of water when the meal is finished.
For more tips, contact your family dentist, or schedule an appointment before the new school year begins.