Tips for an Easy Back-to-School Dental Checkup

September is just around the corner, which means the beginning of a brand new school year! As summer vacation winds down and you start shopping for notebooks, backpacks, pencils and other supplies for your kids, don’t forget to include a dental checkup as part of your back-to-school routine.

Why is a dental visit so important – even if your kid’s teeth seem perfectly healthy? Did you know that tooth decay is among the most common chronic illnesses in children, responsible for the lion’s share of missed school days. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics cautions that 40 percent of children have some degree of tooth decay by the time they enter Kindergarten.

Back-to-school dental visit

A back-to-school dental visit can also help reestablish good brushing and oral hygiene habits that may have gone out the window during the summer, when normal routines are disrupted by camping trips, sleepovers and family holidays.

Here are a few more reasons to arrange a dental appointment before summer ends and school starts.

  • Scheduling is easier. Take advantage of the free time afforded by summer break and schedule a cleaning and routine dental exam so there’s less chance of missing classes or after-school activities. If cavities are present, there will be plenty of time to get fillings or any other dental work done.
  • Catch and treat dental problems early – Early detection of cavities or tooth decay means less costly and, sometimes, less invasive treatment.
  • Identify Big Picture issues – Besides a professional cleaning and fluoride treatment, the dentist will also be looking at the health of gum tissue, how the teeth are developing, if the bite is lining up, and whether or not orthodontic treatments may be indicated down the line. Teen Invisalign may be recommended for common problems such as crowded teeth, gaps, overbite and misalignment.
  • Boost confidence with a bright smile – Back to school means new clothes, new supplies, new friends and a dazzling, white smile. A happy, healthy smile is a confident one.
  • Reinforce good dental habits – Your dentist will help encourage and reinforce the practice of good oral hygiene at home, by brushing twice a day and flossing as directed.
  • Get a custom-made mouth guard – If your child plays sports, this is the perfect time to ask your dentist about having a custom mouth guard made to protect against tooth loss and dental injuries.

Preparing for a successful kids’ dentistry appointment

It’s perfectly normal for children to be anxious about a dentist visit, especially if it’s a relatively new experience. Help prepare your kid for a stress-free visit by following these tips:

  • Schedule the appointment during mid-morning or early afternoon hours when children are less likely to be tired or in need of a nap
  • Feed a light meal one hour before the visit to avoid hunger-related crankiness
  • Model positive behavior and leave your anxiety at the door. Even if you have dental phobia, it’s important to communicate only positive language to your children who often pick up on their parents’ fears and emotions.

Schedule your back-to-school appointment today

Every parent wants the best for their child, ensuring they are happy, healthy and equipped to tackle a new school year with confidence. When left unchecked, tooth decay and infection can cause pain, and interfere with speaking, eating and even concentrating in class.

Schedule your child’s back-to-school dental exam at Long Island Implant & Cosmetic Dentistry. Dr. Elliott and Dr. Nick are experienced pediatric dentists who specialize in issues common to children and teens.

Additional Back to School Dental Checkup Resources: 

  1. Colgate, National Children’s Dental Health Month http://www.colgate.com/en/us/oc/oral-health/life-stages/childrens-oral-care/article/ADA-02-national-childrens-dental-health-month
  2. Mouth Healthy, 5 Questions to Ask at Your Child’s Back-to-School Dental Visit http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/babies-and-kids/questions-for-school-dental-exam
  3. Mouth Healthy, 8 Secrets to a Successful Back-to-School Dental Checkup http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/babies-and-kids/back-to-school

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Ava Lawson

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