Submitted by Submitted by Dr. Jeff Reynolds.
Whether your family has been on its A-game when it comes to dental health or you were subject to the summer slide, the start of the school year is a great chance to reset. While your kids get used to the earlier wakeup call, incorporating oral health techniques along the way will help them beyond their first day.
Summer break doesn’t include the same strict schedule as the school year, and dental health can sometimes fall to the wayside. It’s important to implement positive brushing and flossing habits with your kids as they start the school year off, promising happy smiles for those class photos.
Daily reminders of brushing for two minutes twice a day and flossing at least once are a great place to start. This reduces the risk of cavities by removing food and plaque which build up with the increase in summertime snacks and treats. Before you leave the house in the morning and prior to bedtime, a quick “Did you brush yet?” will get the job done.
In addition to verbal reminders, posting a visual reminder on the bathroom mirror like a brushing and flossing chart or setting a daily phone alarm are helpful to regulate the habit. Every time your kids visit the bathroom, they’ll be confronted with a simple reminder.
While you get your family to brush and floss consistently, check to make sure they’re doing it thoroughly to ensure they not only check the habit off their to-do list, but also that they complete their task correctly. Then, they don’t miss out on the benefits of their healthy habits, and you don’t have to waste time and money on unnecessary dental treatments due to lack of oral hygiene. Check for food or plaque on your kids’ gum line which is evidence of missing a spot while brushing and flossing.
For more information about your family’s oral health, visit Delta Dental of Washington’s blog.