||Six tips to keep your children's teeth healthy as they head back to school. With kids gearing up to go back to school, now is the perfect time to kick off the school year with some good dental habits.
NYMC Faculty: Melissa Levine, D.D.S., associate professor of dental medicine and director of pediatric dentistry
- Avoid anything sticky when packing your children’s lunch. While raisins and gummy "fruit snacks" might seem like a healthy option, these sugary foods will stay stuck to the teeth for unnecessarily long periods of time and can lead to cavities.
- Encourage the use of a straw when drinking fruit juice or a soda. This minimizes sugary or acidic liquid coming in contact with teeth.
- Limit snacks. When it comes to snacking, it’s not just about the kind of snack, but the frequency. One large snack is preferable to multiple small snacks throughout the day because it limits instances of acidic erosion.
- Invest in a mouth guard to help prevent oral injuries if your child is on a sports team. While getting a custom-fit mouth guard is ideal, a store bought mouth guard is better than nothing, especially for elementary and middle school kids whose teeth may still be changing.
- Brush twice a day—morning and night. It’s always recommended. Parents of children who are younger than 7 should help their kids brush—they have not yet developed the dexterity to adequately brush their teeth themselves.
- Schedule checkups. Always remember to see a dentist for checkups and cleanings every six months so problems can be dealt with when they're small—or, better yet, avoid dental problems all together!