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Back-to-School Dental Health: Do You Know Your ABC's?

Here is some straight "A" advice to keep your children's teeth healthy and strong.

Student Dental Health

  • Don't forget to schedule a checkup with the dentist.
  • Ask the dentist if your child would benefit from sealants, a plastic coating for the top of permanent molars to help prevent decay.
  • Around age 6-10, consult with your dentist ororthodontist about if or when your child might benefit from orthodontic care (braces). Not all children need them.
  • Make sure your children drink fluoridated water and use fluoride toothpaste to help prevent tooth decay. Bottled or purified water may not include fluoride.
  • Involve children in the selection of the type of toothbrush, dental floss, and fluoride toothpaste they like. The more involved, the more likely they are to form lasting good oral health habits.
  • Teach your children that a mouthguard is necassary equipment for participating in any sport that could result in a knocked-out or fractured tooth.

Good Snacking

  • Teach children to limit sugar intake in between meals. Sugar is used by the bacteria in plaque to form acids that cause tooth decay.
  • Be aware that snacks from school vending machines are mighty tempting. Check to see if your school is one of the many that now include healthier vending machine options.
  • Encourage your children to make healthy snack choices, avoid soda, and drink lots of water.

The ABC's of Dental Care

"A" is for Attention

Teach your children to pay attention to their teeth every day.

"B" is for Brushing

Brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and floss daily.

"C" is for Checkups

Schedule regular dental checkups (frequency depends on the child's needs).

Note: The information in this document is not meant to replace the advice of your dentist or another licensed healthcare professional. Talk to your dentist for any specific dental advice.

Source: American Dental Association: