Can you believe it’s almost time for school to start? The days are getting shorter, and before we know it, the leaves will be changing color and falling from the trees. With autumn’s arrival, and classes kicking into full gear, getting kids ready and out the door can be a challenge, and making their oral health a priority is sometimes the first thing to slip. Here are some ways to keep good dental habits front in center during this busy time of year.
– Experts say that creating a morning routine and sticking with it can help keep things running smoothly. Making teeth brushing a strict part of that routine which happens at the same time every day may keep fighting the brush to a minimum.
– Another group of experts — moms! — have also weighed in on the subject ofgetting kids to brush their teeth in the morning. And they’ve gotten quite creative!
Elizabeth Arth, mother of two, says, “My children are notorious at not brushing their teeth so I made a board and put chores on it and many of the chores are personal hygiene chores. They have to check them off each morning before they can play for the day.”
Another mother of two, Christi Gronemus, stated, “We had blue mouthwash that helped him get started then he had to brush the blue on his teeth and my son Carson just needs to have a cool toothbrush, something that spins or has Spiderman on it.”
It’s important to make sure kids continue to brush twice a day and floss regularly, even during time-pressed mornings. Making sure their six-month check ups are scheduled in advance is also a huge step towards good oral health in kids, as bad oral health has been associated with disease such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, all of which are on the rise in children.
Speaking of back-to-school time and dental health, a recent study showed that kids with tooth pain were four times more likely to have a low grade point average than kids with healthy teeth. It was also correlated with missing more days of school, and parents missing more days of work.
We think this is just one more powerful reason to make sure kids’ dental health is on track as a new school year begins.
–Dr. Shannon Norman-Kotre, Ann Arbor Dentist