It’s that time of year when kids all over America head back to school so they can learn the skills and information they need to have a bright future. We wish all the kids out there a productive school year! At ZDental, we recognize that education isn’t just something that happens at school; it is also a crucial part of what we do in our dental offices in New Jersey and the Philadelphia area. That’s why today, we want to tell you about some strategies kids can use to keep their teeth and gums healthy during those long school days.

Good Oral Health Starts at Home

If you have helped your kids establish healthy habits at home, the school year is no time to let them slide. We realize that mornings before school can be hectic, but you must continue to stress the importance of brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash every day. This routine can be completed in less than ten minutes, and it is the cornerstone of keeping a child’s teeth and gums healthy well into adulthood.

Keeping Teeth Clean Throughout the Day

In most cases, kids will have to go through the entire school day without having a chance to care for their teeth. You can help them be prepared for any opportunities they do have. You might consider putting some floss in their school bag, or even a floss pick, so they can remove any food particles that get stuck between their teeth during school hours. You can also encourage them to rinse out their mouth with water from the drinking fountain after lunch or after consuming snacks or sugary beverages.

Choosing Mouth-Healthy Foods

Speaking of lunch, the foods your kids choose can have a big impact on their oral health. If you pack a lunch for them, try including some carrots or celery sticks; these fibrous vegetables act as a sort of toothbrush that can remove plaque and bacteria from tooth surfaces. If your kids buy their lunch at school, you can talk to them about making healthy choices. Ask them to include some vegetables in their lunch, like a salad, instead of eating junk food. Instead of buying sugary sodas, energy drinks, or sports drinks, ask them to drink water or plain milk.

Drinking Plenty of Water

Throwing back some cool, clear water is the next best thing to brushing your teeth. Drinking water removes bacteria from the mouth before they can produce harmful byproducts that deteriorate tooth enamel and gum tissue. Staying hydrated also encourages saliva production, which is one of your body’s methods of controlling bacterial growth in your mouth. If they are allowed, send your child to school with a water bottle they can refill from the drinking fountain throughout the day.

Family Dentistry in Philadelphia and New Jersey

As your kids head off to school, don’t forget to schedule a dental checkup for them. One dental checkup every 6 months prevents tartar buildup, significantly reducing your child’s chances of developing gum disease later in life. Regular checkups also allow your dentist to keep an eye on tooth development, cavities, and more. If you are looking for family dentistry in Bensalem, PA, or anywhere nearby, ZDental has five locations to serve you. Visit our contact page to find the clinic in Pennsylvania or New Jersey that is most convenient for you, and call or request an appointment online today!