When your kids return to school after the holidays, it is important to get them back into good dental health habits. While it can be difficult to focus on oral health at the same time as ensuring your kids do their schoolwork and make friends, putting good habits in place now could make a big difference to the health of their teeth in the future. Here are a few top tips that can help.
1. Brush Before Breakfast
Dentists recommend brushing your teeth every day to help keep them clean, but brushing too soon after eating can actually do more harm than good. Eating certain foods can lead to an increase in acidity in the mouth, which in combination with the abrasive action of a toothbrush can wear away protective tooth enamel. Waiting a while after a meal allows the acidity level to reduce, but when your kids return to school you might not have time to schedule this delay into your morning routine. Brushing before breakfast is a good option in this case, as it coats the teeth in protective fluoride to help them stay strong throughout the day.
2. Limit Lunchbox Treats
When your child is out all day at school, it is very natural to want to put a treat in their lunchbox so they feel loved at lunchtime. However, sugary treats can lead to your child needing dental fillings or other uncomfortable dental procedures. Rather than giving a treat every day, why not include a note in your child's lunch box to tell them you love them, tell them a joke or give them a riddle to solve?
3. Read Labels Carefully
Some very similar-looking products can have very different sugar contents. For example, plain yoghurt can be a very tooth-friendly food that appeals to most children, but some yoghurts contain a lot of added sugar. Always read labels and choose products that have no added sugar where possible.
4. Pack Healthy Sandwiches
Wholemeal bread is much better for children's teeth than white bread, which breaks down in the mouth to create sugars that feed harmful oral bacteria. Pack wholemeal sandwiches filled with low-sugar fillings, such as cheese, cucumber, lettuce or hummus to give your kids a nutrient-filled lunch. If your kids are picky, try bread that is made from a mixture of white and wholemeal flours for a less harmful alternative to their favourite white sliced.
For additional tips, reach out to a local dentist.