Back to school is such an exciting time for the whole family! There is a lot of thought put into school supplies, new teachers and activities, sports equipment, and back-to-school clothes! The list goes on and on, and can be quite a lot to organize. This blog post is to encourage families to place oral health as part of their back-to-school routine! This time of year is a perfect time to reflect on healthy lunch options, and booking your routine dental examinations.

Tooth decay is the most common chronic disease of children aged 5-17 years old, and millions of school hours are lost each year due to dental disease. Dental pain or disease can lead to difficulty in eating, speaking, playing and learning. Some basic back-to-school dental tips can help prevent dental cavities, and dental pain. Here are Third Street Dental’s top Back-to-School tips:

(1) Routine Dental Examinations — A dental exam allows the dentist to diagnosis, treat or prevent dental problems. Parents or caregivers may not realize there’s a dental problem, so regular checkups are important. Dentists are able to diagnose cavities when they are just starting, and can offer more conservative treatment options. Dental radiographs are used to not only check for cavities, but to ensure the permanent teeth are present and able to erupt. Cleanings are done to keep the gums and teeth healthy, and prevent gum disease.

(2) Brushing and Flossing — Brushing two times per day with a fluoridated toothpaste is recommended. There are some non-fluoridated toothpaste options as well – please discuss with your dentist. One example is the Cario toothpaste, https://www.oralscience.com/en/products/cari0/ which contains 25% xylitol. Having a toothbrush available in all bathrooms, or in the car, can make brushing easy and quick for the very busy mornings! Flossing teeth every night cleans between the teeth, reducing gum inflammation and preventing cavities. Another tip is to replace the manual toothbrush every 3 months, or after an illness. If you are one to forget to floss, keep some in your bag or backpack and put a reminder in your calendar each day.

(3) Water bottle — send your whole family to school or work with a refillable water bottle. Water is the drink of choice to stay hydrated and keep teeth healthy. Avoid sugary drinks that contribute to dental cavities.

(4) Healthy Lunches — packing a healthy lunch is good for growth and development, but also for healthy teeth! The new reusable compartment lunch boxes make lunch prep so much more fun! Planet box (www.planetbox.com) or Bento box are some of our favourites. Fill them with healthy food options like cheese, vegetables, fruits, healthy grains, meats and beans. Weekly meal planning can help avoid the temptation of eating high-processed foods. Avoid sticky foods, like dried fruits, and sugary snacks, like candy.

(5) Sportsguards — protect that great smile with a sportsguard. Discuss mouth protection with your team and coaches to ensure everyone is protected. Ask your North Vancouver dentist for options on protecting the teeth during sporting activities.

These are our top Third Street Dental ‘Back-to-School tips’. We hope you can integrate dental visits into your Back-to-School routine, and good oral habits into your daily routine. Your teeth will love you for it! Enjoy this busy, and exciting time!

Dr Melissa Skinner
Third Street Dental
106 3rd Street West
North Vancouver, BC
V7M 1E8

Tel: (604) 988-8168
Fax: (604) 983-8168

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