Now that kids are in school, we would like to remind the parents of our patients to make good decisions when packing your child’s school lunches. Too much sugar can harm your child’s health, both dental and overall. We don’t suggest packing snacks like chewy fruit snacks, cookies, or candy. These types of sugary treats will mix with the bacteria in your child’s mouth and form plaque. This will wear down tooth enamel and cause decay.
Oral Health Practices at School
Below are a few ways to help remind your child how to maintain his or her oral health even when they’re at school:
Brushing Before School – After eating breakfast, make sure your kids brush their teeth for two minutes with fluoride toothpaste. Brushing after a meal cleans teeth and eliminates bad breath before your children go to school.
Healthy School Lunches – Pack healthy school lunches for your child. A healthy lunch includes whole grains, lean meats, baked chips, low-fat cheese or yogurt, baby carrots, apples, or whole-grain crackers. Aside from being full of nutrients, certain fruits and vegetables can actually clean the teeth as your child chews!
Chewing Gum –If your child’s school allows chewing gum, pack some sugar-free gum for your child to chew between classes or after lunch. Sugar-free gum helps stimulate saliva and dislodges food particles from the teeth. Additionally, most sugar-free gum contains Xylitol, which has been shown to reduce the bacteria that cause cavities.
Rinsing After Lunch – Lastly, if your child has braces, we recommend teaching him or her to rinse well with water after lunch. If your child wears a removable retainer, he or she should rinse and clean them thoroughly after lunch. Food can easily get stuck between brackets and wires, exposing the teeth to food particles for a longer time.
Going back to school does not mean that your children get a free pass to skip their oral hygiene routines! For more information on how to make sure that your children have clean, beautiful smiles, ultimately preventing child tooth pain, please don’t hesitate to contact Little Smiles of Delaware. Our Delaware pediatric dentist is ready to help your child succeed.