Back to School Dental Health Changes to Make Right Now

Back to School Dental Health Changes to Make Right Now

December 31, 2019

Is your child headed back to school? Along with a new backpack, binder, and pack of pencils, you can also switch out your child’s old at-home dental care devices for new ones during this transitional time. Whether your child is ready for kindergarten or college, take a look at how you can upgrade their oral health routine this fall.

New Toothbrush

When was the last time your child changed their toothbrush? If you can’t easily answer this question, they probably need a new one.

When does your child truly need a new brush and what do you need to know about the change? Consider:

  • The age of the brush. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends a new toothbrush every three to four months.
  • Whether your child shares. Did your child go to summer camp and share their brush with their tent-mates? Even though you teach your child to share, a toothbrush is something to keep for yourself. Throw out a shared brush and replace it immediately to stop the spread of illnesses.
  • The condition of the brush. A two-month-old brush with bent bristles won’t work well. The back to school transition is the perfect time to check your child’s toothbrush for damage and wear.
  • The type of brush. Your older child, tween, or teen may need more than a manual brush. As your child moves up a year in school, consider a move up to a battery-powered or electric brush.
  • The bristles. An older child or teen may want harder bristles or your sensitive child may need softer ones.
  • Your child’s interests. The cartoon-covered brush your young child adored last year may seem not-so-cool now that they’re in middle school. Even though the brush itself may still work, a new one gives your child the chance to pick out a style they like.

Along with these issues, change your child’s brush now if they’ve had an end of summer cold or other illness. A toothbrush can harbor bacteria and viruses, re-infecting your child after they recover. Save your child from a start of the year sick day and reduce the risks with a new brush.

New Routine

Your child’s brush isn’t the only part of their dental care routine to change at the start of the school year. Now is the time to upgrade the routine itself.

How can you change your child’s dental routine for the better right now? Make maintenance a priority and:

  • Create a sticker chart. If your younger child struggles to brush their teeth twice a day every day, create your own sticker chart for before school and before bed brushing times.
  • Set smart phone reminders. A sticker chart isn’t likely to work for your teen or you new college student. Encourage your older child to set daily reminders on their phone to brush.
  • Choose a fun way to time brushing. Between homework, after-school activities, and everything else your child has to do now that they’re back in school, they may need extra help when it comes to brushing. Create a fun two-minute brushing routine or set a timer on their cell.
  • Schedule appointments. Your child’s busy school schedule shouldn’t interfere with their regular check-ups. Incorporate these into their new after school routine and make the appointments weeks or months in advance.

Your child may also need to incorporate new types of dental care into their back to school routine. Read on for more information on what to include.

New Types of Care

Whether your child is older, more mature, or just doesn’t have the right dental routine for their current needs, you can help them to make care changes during this transitional time. These changes could include the addition of flossing twice a day, a new mouthwash product, whitening (for your college-bound young adult child), a new type or flavor of toothpaste, dental picks, or a tongue scraper.

Does your child need a back to school dental exam? Contact Cherry Hill Dentistry for more information.

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