Is your child all ready for the new school year? Just like most parents, you’re probably wondering what’s in store for them once they settle into their school time routine. While school drop-offs, homework, and getting your child to eat more vegetables remain a constant challenge, there’s also the fact that their teeth may become sorely neglected while they are busy with school.
In research by the World Health Organization on the dental health of over 2,000 school children in Southern Thailand, it was found that 96.3% of 6-year-olds have cavities, while 70% of 12-year-olds had cavities in their permanent teeth. While eating sweets and consuming sugary drinks are some of the main culprits of tooth decay among school children, it has been found that very few practice proper oral hygiene and that most kids don’t actually know how to take care of their teeth. While you can’t always be around to remind your child to brush their teeth after recess, there are a few simple ways that you can get your child to take care of their teeth while in school.
Put together a dental kit
The dental kit should include a travel toothbrush, toothpaste, and some dental floss. While the kit itself can be a soft pouch that he can keep in their lunchbox. This way, they are reminded to brush and floss after every meal, even while in school. You can let your child pick out their toothbrush and the kind of toothpaste that they want to use.
Pack a healthy snack that’s good for your child’s teeth
Some foods are packed with essential nutrients that can strengthen your child’s teeth. Fruits such as oranges, papaya, and cantaloupe kill bacteria, while yogurt and cheese raise the pH levels in your kid’s mouth and reduces the risk of tooth decay. Meanwhile, eating crisp vegetables such as raw carrots and celery naturally clean the teeth, scrubbing plaque between meals, so if your child doesn’t have enough time to brush after recess or lunch, tell them to save their carrot sticks for last.
Encourage them to drink water instead of sugary drinks
Fruit juice with high fructose syrup, soft drinks, and the like can increase the risks of tooth decay. Let your child bring some plain water in a reusable bottle to school. It’s healthier for them instead of a packaged fruit drink. If they complains of the bland taste, you can add a hint of natural fruit flavor with a few slices of lemon or strawberries in the water.
Apart from regular examinations and brushing at least twice a day at home, it’s also important that children learn how to take care of their teeth while in school. Doing so will keep your child’s teeth healthy and cavity-free and instil good personal care habits that will stay with them throughout their life.