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It’s that time of year again.   Many of us are putting away our swimsuits and bringing out notebooks and sharpening pencils for the start of the new school year.

There is a lot of preparation that goes into getting ready for school each fall, and one thing that should not be left off of the back to school checklist is proper dental care.  In order to ensure that your child maintains their bright smile throughout the school year, here are some tips to consider as your child heads back to the classroom:

  1. Stay away from packing your child’s lunch with drinks that are high in sugar.  Many sports drinks, energy drinks, sodas, and juices have anywhere between 5-12 teaspoons of sugar in one serving.  The longer this sugar stays on your child’s teeth, the more likely they will develop tooth decay.  Many children do not have a chance to brush their teeth throughout the day, so minimizing the amount of sugar in their lunch can help decrease their chances of cavities.
  2. Pack snacks that are high in protein in your child’s lunch.  High protein foods will minimize hunger, and as a result your child will be less likely to snack all day on sugary unhealthy foods that are found in many cafeterias and on-campus vending machines.
  3. If you want to occasionally add a sweet treat to your child’s lunch, try chocolate instead of other candies that are highly acidic and/or are more likely to stick to their teeth for long periods of time.
  4. Fall is the time for many contact sports both on and off the field.   Be sure to get a properly fitted mouthguard before trying out for your favorite team.
  5. Brush your teeth twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste, and once your permanent teeth come in, make sure that you floss, too.  There is less space between your permanent teeth, so it’s harder to get particles out of your teeth with just brushing.
  6. Come in to see me!  Regular dental appointments keep parents and children aware of their dental health, and they are less likely to develop cavities and dental related illnesses.

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