A new school year is right around the corner. As you prepare for your child to head back to the classroom, school supplies aren’t the only things they need to succeed. Believe it or not, dental emergencies can keep your child out of the classroom. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 34 million school hours are lost annually because of urgent oral health issues, which are often preventable. Here are 4 tips to safeguard your child’s smile.
1. Schedule a Cleaning and Checkup
Accidents and injuries aren’t the only causes of dental emergencies. Many result from untreated oral health issues, like tooth decay. The CDC reports that 37% of children below the age of 8 and 58% of teenagers in the United States have experienced tooth decay.
Although cavities are preventable, tooth decay is the most prevalent chronic condition for children. With 1 in 6 Americans experiencing a dental emergency annually, a cleaning and checkup is a simple way to ensure your little one’s teeth and gums are healthy.
Visiting their dentist every 6 months stops common issues from occurring. They will also benefit from early detection to prevent a small concern from turning into a big problem.
2. Invest in an Athletic Mouthguard
According to the National Institutes of Health, one-third of traumatic dental injuries are sports-related. The American Dental Association reports that 10% of athletes will experience a dental injury during any given season.
An athletic mouthguard is an effective protection for your child’s mouth and oral structures. It can significantly reduce their risk of dental damage, jaw injuries, and concussions.
3. Encourage Healthy Snacking
The foods and drinks your child consumes are influential in their dental health. As you pack their lunch for the day, limit sugary or starchy foods, which feed cavity-causing bacteria. Instead, include low-fat dairy products, fresh fruits, and vegetables.
Skip any sports drinks, juices, or soda. Water will keep them hydrated and rinse their mouth in between brushing and flossing.
4. Support Good Oral Hygiene
Life can get pretty chaotic during the school year, but make sure your child is brushing their teeth at least twice a day for 2 minutes to keep toothaches at bay. Besides brushing, they should floss daily to keep their gums healthy.
Although you can’t always stop a dental emergency from happening, you can lower your little one’s risk by keeping their oral health a priority. They will look and feel their best to focus on learning.
About Dr. Raj Vekariya
Dr. Vekariya earned his dental degree from New York University’s College of Dentistry and has regularly continued his education in various specialties, including cosmetic dentistry. He treats patients of all ages to create generations of healthy smiles. Request an appointment through his website or call (724) 607-8638.