Checklist time for school preparation! Along with school supplies, new clothes and sports gear, remember that health checkups are VITAL. Take your kids for a Dental Checkup Start the school year with healthy, beautiful smiles. Schedule a dental cleaning and exam. Preventative care, including sealants and fluoride treatments, helps stop cavities before they start. A professional cleaning removes cavity-causing bacteria, keeping gum tissue healthy and removing stains. Did you know that tooth decay is the most common childhood disease? A third of children miss school on account of oral health problems. Children and teens with healthy teeth have better attendance, are more attentive in class and tend to participate more fully in school related activities. A dental exam is part of an overall pediatric health checkup since oral health plays a vital role in children's health. Route 23 Pediatric Dentistry recommends choosing a dental home before the first day of pre-school. Evaluation of a child's oral health at the earliest stages impacts future growth and development. A good smile creates a positive self-image. Establishing an oral hygiene routine Start the school year by setting up a consistent oral hygiene routine at home. Make sure to Schedule 6 MONTH Dental Checkups and cleanings since this is a time of change in your child's mouth. Kids lose baby teeth, get in permanent teeth and changes occur in the mouth. Make brushing and flossing fun with songs, sticker calendars and personalized toothbrushes. Brushing twice a day along with flossing, in the morning and after dinner, is ideal. Baby tooth hygiene is extremely important since cavities and decay can lead to dental problems in the future. Healthy baby teeth lay the foundation for proper dental development. Sports Goals Getting ready for school also means getting mouth protection for all sports. A custom fitted mouth guard enables better breathing, comfort and better sports performance. Sports like football, basketball, lacrosse and volleyball require participants to wear protective mouth guards. Even non-contact sports athletes are encouraged to wear mouth guards to protect against accidental falls. Just like helmets and pads, mouth guards are an extra preventative line of defense for your child. Going Bananas Good nutrition is vital for development, especially for healthy teeth. Fruits and vegetables are great snacks. Calcium rich cheese helps trigger saliva which flushes food particles sticking to teeth. Avoid sticky foods like fruit roll-ups, honey, syrups and candy. Nutritious snacks like cheese, nuts and apples can help prevent cavities. Limit snacks as much as possible. Never put your baby to bed with a bottle of milk, formula, juice or soda. Additionally, serve your child water rather than juice and soda since it flushes food particles clinging to teeth. Include good sources of calcium in your child's diet such as yogurt, milk, cheese and broccoli. Route 23 Pediatric Dentistry provides nutritional counseling and our knowledgeable staff will be happy to provide guidance. Give your child a lifetime of smiles! Ask for your free Dental Travel Gift with your back-to-school checkup!