Class is almost back in session! With everything that’s going on this back-to-school season, you’ve probably got a lot on your plate; but amidst the hustle and bustle of a new school year, something to be mindful of is the possibility of your child experiencing a dental emergency. Here are some useful tips from your emergency dentist for keeping your child’s smile healthy and at low risk of dental emergencies as they head back into the classroom.
Tip #1: Replace Your Child’s Toothbrush
You should replace your own toothbrush every 3 to 4 months; and the same goes for your child’s brush! Toothbrushes with frayed bristles are more abrasive and less effective at removing plaque from your child’s teeth and around their gum line. A good toothbrush coupled with a diligent oral hygiene regimen can go a very long way towards preventing serious oral health problems from unexpectedly developing inside your child’s mouth and escalating into emergencies.
Tip #2: Encourage a Healthy Diet for Your Child
Your child’s diet plays a very important role in not just their overall health, but also their oral health. This means that a healthy and well-rounded diet can actually prevent dental emergencies! Consider plenty of vitamin-rich fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and complex carbs for your child. If possible, have them avoid sugary or starchy snacks like chips, cookies, and even granola bars that can fuel cavity-causing bacteria.
Tip #3: Ensure That Your Child Practices Sports Safety
Dental injuries like chipped, cracked, or even displaced teeth aren’t uncommon in children, especially if they participate in sports and physical activities like football, soccer, basketball, and more. Investing in a mouthguard for your child is a great way to prevent many of the teeth- and gum-related injuries that can occur during these events. You might also consider talking with your child’s dentist about a custom-fitted mouthguard; though more expensive, these devices often offer an exceptional level of protection that’s well worth the price.
Tip #4: Take Your Child to Their Dentist Regularly
Of course, your child also needs to visit their dentist biannually for checkups and cleanings and scheduling a visit right before the start of a new semester is a great way to ensure that your child’s smile is in great shape. These visits are what allows their dentist to clean their teeth of stubbornly built-up plaque and tartar, which actively mitigates oral health issues like cavities and gum disease. These are the issues that can rapidly become worse without treatment, so this level of preventive care is very important for protecting your child from future emergencies.
Your child’s education matters; and things like unexpected dental emergencies can have a direct toll on their academic success! But following these tips will help to keep your child’s smile white, bright, and healthy as they gear up for another successful school year.
About the Author
Dr. Gilberto Lopez received his dental doctorate from the University of Guadalajara and is an active member of several professional organizations including the American Dental Association and the Arkansas State Dental Association. His practice in Fort Smith, AR is proud to offer a wide range of available services including preventive, cosmetic, and restorative options. If you’d like to schedule an appointment, feel free to contact the practice online or over the phone: (479) 434-4277.