Four ways to make oral hygiene part of your kids’ back to school routine

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 18, 2016

CARY – Encouraging good oral health habits is one of the most important things you can do for your kids’ mouth, teeth and gums. The beginning of a new school year is a perfect time to brush up on your kids’ oral hygiene and ensure best practices are part of their daily routines.

“Good oral health starts at home,” said Dr. Catie Cunningham of Raleigh, a member of the North Carolina Dental Society. “Parents are one of the most visible and vocal reminders to encourage healthy behaviors. Show your kids how much you value oral hygiene by letting them see you brush and floss your teeth, eat a balanced diet and visit your dentist regularly. The beginning of a new academic year is the perfect time to revive healthy habits both for you and your children by reestablishing and monitoring daily morning and bedtime routines.”

As you gear up for a new school year, here are four easy ways to help your kids care for their mouth, teeth and gums in order to ensure bright, healthy smiles:

1. Schedule dental appointments. Your kids should visit their dentist every six months for an oral exam and professional cleaning. Make dental appointments before school starts to promote oral hygiene before the academic year begins.
2. Replace your kids’ toothbrushes. Frayed bristles on a worn toothbrush are less effective at cleaning teeth and can harbor bacteria, so be sure to replace your kids’ toothbrushes every three to four months. Ensure new toothbrushes are at the top of your back-to-school shopping list.
3. Brush twice a day. The ADA recommends brushing twice a day for two minutes with fluoride toothpaste. Encourage your kids to brush first thing in the morning and just before bedtime using these brushing tunes kids will love.
4. Floss every day. Cleaning between teeth helps remove plaque and food particles from between the teeth and under the gum line. Add flossing to your kids’ daily bedtime routine to guarantee consistency.

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