The morning bell rings and off they go, hurrying their way into the bustling classroom to eagerly greet their friends and new teachers.

You check your mental list — You’ve signed all of their school papers, finished back-to-school supply shopping, and planned ahead to make sure they’ll have a healthy lunch every day. Oh! But did you remember to schedule their back-to-school dental cleaning?

After all, back to school means back to fighting cavities, and here’s how you can keep your students’ smiles as healthy as possible this year:

Riding Back Into A Routine

With morning alarms and a meticulously blocked schedule for homework comes the return of your regular school-revolving routine. Thus, this is an opportune time to revisit how diligent your family is when it comes to incorporating various dental habits.

“The best kind of checkup is a cavity-free checkup. Moms and dads can help make this happen by encouraging kids to brush twice a day for two minutes and floss once a day,” according to the American Dental Association (ADA).

Specifically, we recommend instituting dental routines both before school in the morning and before bed at night.

Additionally, a school semester is about four months long, which is also the maximum amount of time you want to use any one toothbrush or toothbrush head at a time. That being said, we recommend buying your children new toothbrushes to celebrate the start of the year. Once you see the end of the semester crawling closer, you know it’s time for a new one!

Following It Up With The Right Food

Healthy meals help your growing child to remain energized and focused throughout the school day, but that’s not all they will do. When you pack certain foods into their daily lunch box, you’re also setting them up for a day of dental-friendly munching, which both their teeth and taste buds will thank you for!

For example, try swapping out sugar-loaded favorites for equally flavorful substitutes.

“Cups of applesauce are practical and portable, but the snack is loaded with natural and added sugars that promote cavities,” Delta Dental Insurance suggests. “Try a small container of cottage cheese instead. To spice things up, you can toss on some blueberries or sliced strawberries for extra flavor!”

Additionally, crunchy foods, like apples or carrots, will also help to scrape away residue on your children’s teeth while they stop for a healthy snack.

Finally, foods that are high in calcium and Vitamin C are particularly good for strengthening both their teeth and enamel from the inside out.

Pursuing Both Prevention and Protection

With the return of school comes the return of extracurriculars — as well as the increased need for optimized oral protection.

“If your child participates in organized sports, especially those sports that are considered to be ‘contact sports’ or any sport where an object (ball, bat, etc.) or a person could damage the oral cavity,” the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry explains, “then a sports mouthguard is strongly recommended.”

If your child is currently undergoing orthodontic treatment, it would also be wise to ensure they have a to-go orthodontic kit in their backpacks so that they may attend to their teeth between classes or after lunch as necessary.

Otherwise, if you’re ready to schedule your student’s back-to-school dental appointment, the team here at Setzer, Cochran, and Soares Pediatric Dentistry is ready to help them get an A in dental health!

Our award-winning, board-certified pediatric dentists and orthodontists are experienced in caring for children and teens of all ages. To learn more or schedule an appointment, contact our office today by calling 904-733-7254 (Jacksonville) or 904-473-0600 (Ponte Vedra)