Back to school signifies the end of summer, leading families to shop for new clothes, backpacks and school supplies. While shopping for notebooks and sneakers, parents shouldn’t forget to grab new toothbrushes and schedule their child’s back to school dental check-ups.

While dental care is important for kids year-round, cavity prevention is especially important during the school year. According to the American Dental Association, students miss 51 million hours of school each year due to dental issues. To prevent unnecessary dental pain and school delinquency, parents can take action to ensure their children’s teeth are healthy and school-year ready.

It’s important for parents to stay informed and ask questions at their child’s regular dental exam. Even if a child brushes and flosses twice each day, regular exams should always include a cleaning to keep the gums and teeth healthy. While it may be safe to assume that the dentist will provide updates on the condition of a child’s teeth, it is always good to ask questions. If the child plays sports, it is also important for the dentist to look over their mouth guard and offer their approval of its fit and level of protection.

Children entering first grade and middle school may also need sealants during their back to school check-up. Sealants are a clear protective coating placed on the molars that are often applied around the ages of 6 and 12. They are applied quickly and easily with no discomfort or pain.

Along with regular dental visits, preventive measures are important. Lifelong dental habits begin in the home with thorough brushing and flossing each morning and night. Toothbrushes should be replaced after three months or immediately following a cold. Healthy snacks and meals of milk, grains, yogurt, vegetables, and fruits will provide additional support for children’s gums and teeth as they develop, and wearing a mouth guard while playing sports will protect their teeth and gums from damage.

Back to school shopping may be stressful, but monitoring your child’s dental health doesn’t have to be. Call Progressive Dental today to learn more about children’s dental care.