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Poor oral health affects a child’s abilities in school, play and everyday life. Moreover dental problems cause low self-esteem, difficulty sleeping, speech, articulation, and hindered academic performance. The good news is that there are several ways you can go back to school with a healthy mouth.

Dental Examination

Tooth decay is the leading #1 childhood chronic disease affecting 42% of children between the ages of 2 and 11 and 59% of adolescents between 12 and 19. We recommend that you make a trip to the dentist before this school year begins. A dental examination is as important as immunizations and booster shots for back to school according to the American Dental Association.

Limit Sugary Drinks

Sugar is the #1 cause of tooth decay. Bacteria in the mouth use sugars from the drinks you consume to produce acids that dissolve and damage the teeth, causing tooth decay. A great alternative to sugary drinks is water since it strengthens your teeth and help wash away food debris.

Pack a healthy lunch

Foods high in calcium like cheese, milk, and yogurt help keep your teeth healthy and strong. Cheese has enzymes that aid in neutralizing the harmful bacteria in your mouth after a meal. Also, research shows that whole grains are less likely to promote tooth decay. Packing a lunch with these options is a great start to a healthier mouth.

Brush and Floss

Plaque is a transparent layer of bacteria that coats our teeth and gum line. Plaque contains millions of harmful bacteria, but regular brushing and flossing can help remove the plaque. The best method to brush is to follow the two by two rule which consist of brushing twice a day for two minutes. Moreover, flossing every day helps remove the plaque between your teeth. Add a fluoridated rinse to finish you child's routine.

Protect your mouth playing sports

It is important to protect your kids’ healthy smile from injury. Many high contact sports like football require their athlete to wear a mouth guard. For superior protection we recommend that you get a custom mouth guard made by your dentist. If you are unsure of what safety precautions to take for your child’s sport, talk to their trainer in regards to what safety equipment is required and recommended.

A new school year means new healthy habits. Stress the importance of good dental hygiene and make sure that your child visits the dentist before the school year begins.