School can be a busy time for both children and parents. However, upkeeping your child’s oral health is just as important as ever before, whether they’re at home or in school.
Here are some oral health tips to help your child have a healthy set of teeth even when they’re preoccupied at school:
1. Start your child off with a healthy, tooth-friendly breakfast.
Healthy teeth starts with healthy food! While it’s common for parents to give their child a poptart or a muffin before school as it’s something quick and easy, there are other healthier options that are better for your child’s teeth.
Oatmeal, fruit, toast with peanut butter, breakfast burritos, and eggs are also quick options that are better for the teeth.
Also considering making or prepping your child’s breakfast the night before to make mornings go smoother. Not only is a healthy breakfast great for the teeth, but it’s also provides brain power for a long day at school.
2. Make sure they brush and floss their teeth thoroughly before heading off to school.
After breakfast, have your child brush and floss before heading off to school. Brushing and flossing only takes two to three minutes for both processes, yet this quick and simple act contributes to healthy pearly whites now and in the future.
Failing to take care of the teeth only leads to problems only a dentist can fix, which means dental appointments and missed schooltime.
Keep your child healthy and in school as much as possible by educating them and having them participate in the proper oral health routines.
3. Pack your child a healthier lunch, trying to eliminate gooey, sticky, and sugary foods and drinks as much as possible.
Sneaking a sweet treat every now and then in your child’s school lunch is fine, but the problem with many children’s boxed lunches is that they almost always contain something unhealthy such as chips, cookies, pudding, and chocolate milk.
This is definitely a concern for the health of your child’s teeth, especially because most children do not or cannot brush their teeth after lunch at school.
Fresh fruits and vegetables can be incorporated into your child’s lunch in a way that is tasty for them.
Kids also enjoy peanut butter for dipping vegetables, which is certainly healthier than a bag of chips. Dried fruit or fruit leather with no added sugar are also delicious to many children.
Also, keep in mind that many juices contain added sugar. Try to find a juice that doesn’t contain added sugar but instead just fruit.
Be creative, and find a healthy recipe or snack that works for your child! You’d be surprised just how many healthy foods they’d enjoy, even if it means a slight transformation to make them enjoy it.
4. If your child wears braces, have them brush, floss, and/or rinse their mouth out with water after lunchtime.
Children with braces are more likely to have food lodged between their teeth and braces, increasing their risk of cavities even higher than one who doesn’t wear braces.
Having them brush or use a specific flossing tool in the school bathroom after lunch would be beneficial for their oral health. Otherwise, a thorough swish and rinse of water would be the next best step.
Of course for children with braces, it’s also important to exclude or limit gooey, sticky, sugary, hard, extra crunchy, and acidic foods and beverages in their lunch.
Especially keep this in mind when packing their lunch if brushing or flossing after lunch is not something your child will participate in at school.