3 Tips for Preparing Your Children for Their Back-To-School Dental Check-Ups

It’s summertime… kids are spending their days splashing in the pool, biking with friends, ziplining at summer camp! It’s hard to think about homework, alarm clock wakeups, research papers, or anything else related to school when everyone’s having so much fun.

But a new school year is just around the corner. Soon you’ll be headed to the store with your checklist from the teacher: pencils, pens, notebooks, and more. 

Have you thought about adding “dental check-up” to your back-to-school to-dos? If not, there’s no better time than now to put it on the list.

Why You Should Get the Back-to-School Dental Check-Ups on the Calendar Early

“Pediatric dentists urge parents to bring their children for a back-to-school dental check-up prior to the start of the new school year. Untreated dental problems can affect kids’ overall health and even their academic performance, they say.”
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Because pediatric dentists are especially busy as the back-to-school season begins, it’s better to schedule your child’s visit well in advance. Although there may be times that your child has to miss school for a dental appointment, whenever possible, schedule dental check-ups when school’s out so your kids don’t miss important events in the classroom. 

Back-to-school dental check-ups are such an important part of a child’s health and hygiene routine.Here are some reasons for getting your kids’ check-ups on the calendar early:

  • To make sure their teeth are healthy and cavity-free – One of the most important reasons to get your kids’ dental check-ups early is to ensure that their teeth are healthy and cavity-free before they get back into the busy school year. During a check-up, the dentist will look for any early signs of cavities and will also clean your child’s teeth to remove any plaque or bacteria.
  • To get tips on how to keep their teeth healthy during a busy school year – In addition to checking for cavities, the dentist will also give you tips on how to keep your child’s teeth healthy. This may include advice on how to keep good brushing and flossing habits even when schedules are hectic, as well as tips on which foods and drinks to avoid when you don’t have as much time for preparing healthy meals.
  • To get help with any dental problems before school starts back – If your child is experiencing any dental problems, early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent them from becoming more serious and disrupting the school year with more extensive treatment.

A dental check-up is a great opportunity to discuss good oral hygiene habits with your child’s dentist and set some goals for the school year. And starting the academic year off with a good oral health routine is important for your child’s overall well-being. 

There’s no better time than now to get the appointment on the books…before a hectic new school year starts.

How To Prepare Your Kids for Their Dental Check-Up

As we’ve mentioned, when your children go in for their dental check-up, dentists check for cavities and offer tips on keeping teeth clean and healthy. They also review your kids’ oral health history and look for any signs of tooth decay so they can recommend treatment if needed. They often take x-rays to help with their diagnoses. 

What can you do to prepare your kids for their experience at the dentist’s office?

Tip 1: Plan Ahead

The American Dental Association (ADA)  says planning ahead is one of the most important ways to prepare for dental check-ups.

  • Get the appointments on the calendar well in advance.
  • Keep the dental day free of a lot of other activities – Rather than trying to squeeze in the check-up after a long day at camp or on the busiest day of the week between other obligations, schedule it when your child will be well rested and not overly stressed.

Tip 2: Talk to Your Kids About Their Dental Check-Up

Kids will be more comfortable if they know what to expect. Explain that a dental check-up is an opportunity for the dentist to look for any problems with their teeth and gums and to give them advice on how to keep their teeth healthy. 

Be sure your kids understand who the dental team is and how they take care of their patients:

  • Let them know that the dentist won’t hurt them. Many kids feel afraid of the dentist because they think they’ll get hurt. Let your kids know that the dental hygienist will use a tiny brush and water to clean their teeth, and it’s not typically a painful process.
  • Make sure they know that the dentist is a friend, not a foe. Kids are more likely to cooperate if they know the dentist is on their side. Make sure they know the entire dental team is there to answer any of their questions and to help them keep their teeth healthy.

Be sure to praise your kids for cooperating during their dental visit. Sitting still during a routine cleaning is not always easy… especially for little ones who have a lot of energy!

Tip 3: Let Them Eat a Snack or Light Meal Before Their Dental Check-Up

We all know that a hungry child isn’t a happy child. The ADA says a hungry child isn’t a happy patient either, so let your kids eat something light before you stop in for your appointment. 

Avoiding an empty stomach and the crankiness that can go with that will help your kids feel more comfortable when they’re getting their teeth cleaned. They won’t be distracted by a growling tummy, so it’ll be easier for them to be patient while having to sit still during the appointment. 

Of course, they’ll want to brush their teeth before they come, too… to make the hygienist’s job a tiny bit easier!

Let them know they’re doing a good job when they sit still and let the hygienist clean their teeth and the dentist come in and check them.

It’s not too late to get your kids on the calendar for their back-to-school dental check-ups. Give TrueCare Dentistry a call if your kids are ready to kick the new school year off with a routine cleaning.