September is upon us and as the calendar changes, so too do our daily routines if we have school-aged children. If you are a parent of one or more kids heading back to school, you’ve likely got a laundry-list of things to buy and plans to make as you transition from the unstructured days of summer into a more stringent, and often busy, routine.
Whether your kids are excited to return to school or are dreading it, the start of a new school year is often filled with some bit of excitement and a chance to start anew. Now is the perfect time to focus on not only preparing your child for a year of growing and learning, but also for a year of focusing on good health and good habits. Pediatric dentists recommend that you arm your child with the proper tools, foods and knowledge so that they can learn to better understand how the decisions they make affect their oral health, in addition to their overall health.
Although the primary thoughts of you and your children may not be on tooth and gum health right now, the choices you make as you plan for the coming school year may go a long way towards impacting that health. For example, if you set a precedent at the start of school about the types of snacks and additions to your child’s lunchbox that are considered acceptable, it’s more likely you’ll be able to carry those guidelines throughout the year than if you suddenly decide in the middle of the year that they can no longer bring cookies to school, even though you have let them do so up until that point.
Now is a good time to discuss the impact certain foods can have on your child’s oral and general health. Arming them with knowledge and explaining to them that their good choices can keep them from having to make an unexpected visit to a pediatric dentist to deal with a cavity can give them the incentive they need to take charge of their own good eating habits.
It’s also important to stress the importance of allowing enough time each morning for proper tooth brushing and eating a healthy breakfast before the school bus arrives. Mornings tend to be somewhat chaotic and rushed as everyone prepares for the day ahead but if you set up a morning routine and ensure that everyone gets up early enough, kids can get their day off to a better start.
In addition to creating effective routines, now is also a good time to schedule a routine preventative appointment with a pediatric dentist (or a family dental practice that offers pediatric dentistry services) if your child has not visited the dentist lately. Doing so will help to ensure the ongoing oral health of your children and will set them up for a lifetime of good oral healthcare habits.
For more information about the pediatric dentistry services offered by Gentle Dental in Queens, call 718-461-0100.