It’s back-to-school time and whether your kids are pumped or dragging their feet, one thing’s for certain: now’s the time to ensure you and your kids are all set up for healthy teeth this year.
Not sure how to start the school year with a focus on your family’s oral health? No prob! As your family dentist in Vancouver, my team and I at Nest Dental have got you covered. Here, a handy list of dental tips for kids and adults to guide your back-to-school prep.
Schedule Your Full Year’s Dental Exams and Cleanings
It’s a classic, but it’s gold. Regular dental checkup and cleaning appointments are a key part of Preventative Adult and Kids Oral Health 101. Give us a call at Nest Dental to schedule your and your kids’ twice-annual dental exams and cleanings so you’re set for the year.
What happens in a kids’ appointment again? In a children’s dental exam and cleaning, your Nest Dental hygienist gently cleans any plaque or tartar off your child’s teeth and checks for any dental issues. Then as your Vancouver dentist, I’ll examine their teeth and check on their oral development. If needed, we’ll also take low-dose, quick and painless digital x-rays to ensure we have a full picture of your kids’ oral health. We’ll finish with a fluoride varnish and optional dental sealants.
Oral Hygiene Routine Basics – A Handy Checklist
In the spirit of back-to-school, here’s a little primer on the basics of an at-home oral hygiene routine:
- Brush twice a day (in the morning and before going to bed)
- Brush for at least two minutes each time
- Floss once a day (typically during the evening routine)
- Use fluoride mouthwash for extra tooth-strengthening and cavity-fighting power
Pro tip: A music timer for kids helps track two minutes of brushing. So get out that Spotify playlist and brush, brush, brush away!
Choose The Right Toothbrush
For most of our patients, we recommend a soft-bristled toothbrush. Why? A soft-bristled toothbrush helps minimize hard brushing that can prematurely wear away tooth enamel while still effectively cleaning away plaque and food debris.
Kids reluctant to brush? Here’s one of our dental tips for kids: make brushing more tech-y with a kids’ electric toothbrush. You’ll find plenty of colourful, kid-friendly ones that feature favorite animated characters. Feel free to give us a shout if you need some recommendations.
Another perk of electric toothbrushes is their effectiveness against tooth decay. One study found that participants using an electric toothbrush had 18% less tooth decay than those brushing with a manual one.
Stock Up On Kid-Approved Fluoride Toothpaste
A toothbrush and toothpaste — you can’t have one without the other. Let your kids pick a toothpaste flavour that appeals to them. If your kids like fruit flavours, hismile has juicy-tasting fluoride toothpastes like watermelon or mango sorbet. Heck, the adults in your fam might want to try these, too.
Strengthen Teeth With Teeth-Healthy Foods
Fall is a great time to start new (and healthier!) eating habits. Chat with your kids about the role of nutrition in building healthy teeth and gums. How to strengthen teeth and gums with what you eat? A balanced diet of lean protein, vegetables, fruit, fats, dairy (or dairy alternatives with calcium) and complex carbohydrates will boost your kids’ oral health.
And sugar? Well, we know it’s nearly impossible to keep kids away from refined sugars completely. So instead, we suggest setting goals for consuming less sugary foods and drinks, and remember to drink or rinse with water afterwards. Speaking of water, it’s key for maintaining an oral environment that’s less friendly to bacteria so remind your kids to hydrate!
Mouthguards for Protecting Your Kids’ Teeth
Are your kids in contact sports this year? If so, protect their teeth with mouthguards. Boil and bite or microwavable mouthguards are a DIY option but if your child has braces, we suggest asking your orthodontist for a professionally-made, custom mouthguard.
Dental Tips for Kids With Braces
Kids with braces should keep a travel dental supplies kit. That way they’ll be prepared for any orthodontic emergency and can stick to a good oral hygiene routine wherever they go.
Your Family Dentist in Vancouver is Rooting for Your School Year Success
We’re excited to see you succeed with you and your kids’ oral health this year. The first step? As mentioned, get in touch with your friendly Nest Dental team to schedule you and your children’s dental exams. Our high-tech approach helps us create better, more convenient patient experiences with precise treatment and efficient care.
Visits to Nest Dental are definitely an event to look forward to — our modern Fraser Street dental studio is cozy, comfortable, and relaxing. Consider us a spa day for your smile.