The days are growing shorter and cooler weather has beaten back the heat of the summer. To most parents and school-age children this means Back to School. This is also the time of year when many parents take their children to the dentist for cleanings and check-ups.
Aside from the rush around to get new school supplies and clothes to outfit your little ones as they head back to school, parents might consider this time of year an excellent opportunity to schedule a dentist visit for a routine cleaning and dental check-up. In most cities across the nation, August is the month that children return to school. August is also a great month to schedule a routine cleaning before the start of the new school year. Most parents know that their children benefit from good oral health when they see their dentist every six months. They also know that their school-age children are bound to have new school photos taken at the beginning of the year. Nothing says great new school pics for the family like a bright, white smile!
A routine dental checkup and cleaning before the beginning of the school year makes sure that children are off to a positive start in their school hallways and classrooms. Many dentists agree that a smile you can be proud of is a building block for confidence with schoolmates and peers.
The advent of the school year also means that children are no longer at home for lunch where their eating habits can be monitored. All those healthy snacks during the summer days have been beneficial in building good eating habits that support healthy teeth and gums. However, school lunches away from the home bring a number of choices – not all of them as healthy or beneficial as some parents would like. Therefore, it’s an all-around benefit for parents and children to have their dentist examine their teeth and make any needed recommendations about diet and oral hygiene.
In addition, the weeks before school starts are a great time to schedule routine dental check-ups for your children due to the fact that there is often much more free time during the summer days than during the school year. If your child does have an issue that needs to be addressed – such as a cavity that needs to be filled – it’s easier on both your child and yourself to schedule those follow-up visits in the last days of the summer versus a later time when your child must be taken out of school for the dental visit.
Lastly, if your child is planning to play sports during the school year, this is a great time to speak to your dentist about having a mouth guard fitted and ready for soccer, football, ice hockey, rugby, or any martial arts program.
The end-of-summer back to school period is always one that is filled with excitement and activity. For parents and children with busy schedules, it’s always beneficial to schedule your dental visits in advance. Your children will be prepared and smiling for the first days back in class. And as Dr. Cobb always says: good oral hygiene habits, combined with healthy food choices and bi-annual checkups, are the best ways to prevent tooth decay.