Heads up Tips for Back to School Dental Care

General Dentist Purcell, Oklahoma, Dr. Mead

It’s this time of year. Once they have left home in the morning, most kids won’t come back home until mid-afternoon, some even later if they stay for after-school-care. Let’s face it, even if we asked, or forced them to include a toothbrush set into their lunch pack, there is going to be only a small chance our children will actually use it. Time pressure, peer pressure – brushing teeth after school lunch is just not cool.

So how are we to maintain their dental health while they are away from home?
Here are some tips from Dr. Mead’s Purcell General Dentist Practice:

Eat before leaving, and then brush well. Let’s not make our kids’ teeth the victims of our multi-tasking, ever moving bad habits. Eating breakfast in the car or bus on the way to school may seem to save time, but can become a costly savings on the expense of our dental health. Teeth are best be brushed after each meal, but at least the two main meal times, morning and evening, should be observed. Besides taking good care of your teeth, having breakfast unhurried and as an enjoyable part of the day serves more purposes than preserving our teeth: It is also good to start the day in the company of our family and friends, or next to a good book, and promotes general well-being by allowing our body to digest without hurry the food we just ate.

Water, water and more water. As alluring as soft drinks and juices may be, reserve them for at-home pleasure. Most contain citric acid, which, like any acid will “eat through” surfaces it comes in contact with, and often large amounts of sugar, which are equally bad for our teeth. Water, on the other hand, will not only NOT bring these substances into our children’s mouth, but help flush away larger left over debris and extra sugars from lunch.

Avoid an over abundance of starchy snacks like cookies and chips. Like soft drinks, their nutritional value is minimal, and the damage starch-turned-sugar over the duration of the afternoon can do is really not worth the short enjoyment at lunch time. As with sweetened drinks, best reserve for dessert at home.

Provide tooth friendly healthy snacks for toddlers and day-care children. Younger children need to eat more often during the day to keep their energy level up. If your child is at a day care center, you can still protect their teeth by following the above mentioned tips, and then offer fruit, whole grain foods and snacks with natural fibers or nuts. No, we are not proposing you become a “health nut” or have to eat all organic, just think “tooth friendly”.

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