According to the American Dental Association, a dental examination is just as important for a child’s back-to-school routine as immunizations and booster shots. Tooth decay affects American children more than any other chronic infectious disease and can result in difficulty eating, speaking and learning as well as valuable hours of school missed. So what should you do to ensure that your child is returning to school with strong oral health? In this post, your children’s dentist in Hamilton lists four important tips.
Consider a Mouthguard
If your child plays sports, they should have a mouthguard. Athletes who don’t wear them are 60 times more likely to damage their teeth. Possible injuries include cracked or chipped teeth, a knocked-out tooth, jawbone damage or even a concussion. Mouthguards can be found at almost any drug or grocery store, so there’s really no reason for your little one not to have one.
Mouthguards can also benefit children who grind their teeth at night. While teeth-grinding usually doesn’t last and doesn’t cause damage, you should keep an eye on your child’s habit. Prolonged grinding can result in headaches, tooth and jaw pain and worn-down teeth. Talk to your dentist in Hamilton if you’re concerned about your child’s teeth-grinding.
Take Advantage of Summer Dental Visits
Scheduling your child’s dental appointments during the summer can save you a lot of stress during the school year. While it may not seem like summer fun, beating the back-to-school rush can help give you more flexible scheduling options. Identifying and addressing any dental issues long before school starts back up can help your child resume their studies as focused and comfortable as possible.
Address Wisdom Teeth Over the Break
If your child is older, it may be time to consider removing their wisdom teeth. There are numerous advantages to completing this procedure during the summer break. Without the stresses of school and extracurriculars, your child will have plenty of time to recover without responsibilities getting in the way. They can easily enjoy smoothies, milkshakes, ice cream and other cold treats they may crave.
Start Your Child’s Orthodontic Treatment
Summer is also the perfect time to begin your child’s orthodontic treatment with Invisalign or metal braces. Just like with regular dental checkups, your child’s orthodontic appointments will be easier to schedule over the summer. The break also allows your child to get used to the aligners without the distraction of school. If you start the treatment early enough, your child can also enjoy the noticeable improvements in their smile by the time they return to school.
As you enjoy the summer break with your family, make sure your child is receiving the proper oral care. Addressing their dental needs over the summer will ensure their comfort during the fall and set them up for success during the years to come.
About the Author
Dr. Alan Arrington has been with Hamilton Family Dentistry for almost a decade. He is committed to lifelong learning and has completed more than 150 continuing education courses in various dental subjects. If you have further questions about your child’s dental health, he can be reached through his website or at 706-628-0011.