Back to school! The summer was fun, but now it’s time for everyone to have a routine and hit the books. It’s also time to go over the importance of dental health. Not only colds and flu keep children home from school. According to a study published in the Journal of Public Health, between 58 and 80 hours of school were missed because of dental pain and toothaches out every 100 students between the ages of 5 and 17. And their parents missed an average of 2.5 days of work so they could take kids to the dentist. You can avoid all of this when you follow a few tips from a family dentist in Washington.
See a Children’s Dentist in Washington
There’s still time to schedule a checkup with a children’s dentist in Washington. During this visit, your children’s teeth will be thoroughly cleaned and polished. In addition, the dentist and his team will carefully examine each tooth for signs of cavities or damage that could lead to decay. Your child’s jaw and dental development will also be gauged to see if it’s time for a visit with the orthodontist.
At Home Oral Hygiene
Until about the age of seven or eight, mom and dad should really be the ones brushing and flossing children’s teeth. After that, teach children to use a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste when they brush. Show them how to brush all surfaces and how to floss, too. A good brushing should take at least two minutes twice a day.
Cut Back on Candy and Other Sweet Treats
If you pack your children’s lunches or if they do the packing, make sure to have a variety of healthy snacks on hand such as fresh fruit, cut veggies and dip, nuts and hard cheeses. It’s easy to grab a bag of cookies or a candy bar, but the consequences could be cavities. Sweets and candies leave behind sugar in the mouth that increases the level of acids that lead to decay. Saliva can neutralize these acids, but that can take up to 20 minutes.
Check Your Children’s Teeth
In between visits to the family dentist in Washington, check your children’s teeth. Look for discolored teeth, plaque buildup and stains. If you notice something unusual, don’t wait for your child’s next scheduled appointment. Call the dentist so your child can avoid possible cavities or even a toothache.
Know What to Do for a Dental Emergency
Things sometimes get a little rough on the playground so if your child has a dental emergency, here’s what to do.
In case of a knocked out tooth, stop bleeding with a clean cloth and then try to put it back in the socket. If that’s not possible, have your child tuck the tooth in his or her cheek. Alternatively, the tooth can be stored in a sealed container filled with milk.
If your child has a dislodged tooth, you can attempt to gently move it back into place but don’t use force. A cracked tooth needs the dentist’s attention. In the meantime, have your child rinse with warm water to clear the mouth of debris.
Regardless of the dental emergency you face, always call your dentist to schedule a same-day appointment if necessary. But here’s to a school year that is safe and successful!
Meet the Doctor
Dr. James Mace is a family dentist in Washington, MO. He and his staff are committed to ensuring the health, beauty and longevity of every smile in your family. If you need to schedule an appointment for yourself or one of your children, contact us today.