Top Tooth Tips for the New School Year

Even though we talk about the lazy days of summer, it can sometimes bring with it a schedule that’s busier than the rest of the year. Between the backyard BBQ’s, pool parties, sports, swimming, and sleepovers, it’s easy for a new school year to sneak up on you and catch you by surprise! But here we are, settling back into our school routines already after a summer that seemed to fly by. When you’re juggling work, school, sports, and extracurriculars, your child’s dental care routine can sometimes get lost in the shuffle, but Cashmere Family Dentistry are here to remind you how important it is. We want our patients to have healthy teeth from the first day of school to the last, so let’s take a look at some of our top tips for dental health as we head into another a new school year!

Back-to-school checkup

Immunizations and booster shots have been part of getting ready to go back to school for a long time, and the American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that dental checkups be part of that routine, too. Tooth decay is a very common issue in young children, with the CDC reporting that cavities are the most common chronic disease for children 6-19 years of age. It’s even more common than asthma. In fact, children with poor dental health will often end up missing school for a number of issues associated with tooth decay. Attendance is important for successful learning, so this is a problem dental professionals like Cashmere Family Dentistry are determined to tackle!

When you schedule a back-to-school checkup with our Wenatchee office, one of our doctors will perform a thorough examination and cleaning of your child’s mouth. We may take x-rays as well, if they are due for them. This gives us the chance to rule out any potential cavities or concerns we aren’t able to see by observation alone. A check-up around August or September will not only provide your child with the regular dental care they need throughout the year, but can also help prevent unnecessary missed school days.

Dr. Ryan Busk with patients

Create an A+ dental hygiene routine

There are specific guidelines set by the ADA that are crucial to proper oral hygiene for children, including brushing their teeth twice daily for two minutes at a time, and flossing every night before bed. As you get into the swing of this school year, talk with your child about the importance of these tasks, showing them how to do it by example if necessary. We also recommend changing out toothbrushes every 3-4 months, after any sickness, or if the bristles begin losing their shape. This is a lot easier to do if you have replacements on hand already, so stock up while you’re out picking up school supplies you forgot! If you have a hard time remembering when it’s time to switch them out, plan to do it every time report cards come home to keep things simple.

Keep snacks and lunches healthy and varied

Regular dental visits and proper oral hygiene are obviously important, but so are healthy snacks and lunches! These provide your child with the vitamins and nutrients they need to develop healthy teeth that are less prone to cavities. This is easy enough to manage during school breaks, since you’re in charge of the menu, but when kids go back to school, it can be more difficult to monitor what your child is eating. This is especially true if they prefer to buy their lunch rather than take a packed one. If this is the case with your child, check the school menu ahead of time so you’ll know what options are available. Go over the menu with your child and discuss how important it is to make healthy choices such as whole grains, raw veggies, milk, cheese, yogurt, and fruit. And don’t forget about after-school snacks! It seems like kids are always starving as soon as they walk in the door, so be sure to have plenty of delicious, mouth-healthy items stocked in the kitchen ahead of time.

Keep your child’s smile safe with a mouthguard

If your child plays sports regularly for their school or in the community, you’ve probably already had to deal with an injury or two! Cashmere Family Dentistry recommends that children wear a mouthguard whenever they are participating in an activity that carries a risk of contact with players or equipment, or one where falling is likely. Most people tend to think of sports like football and hockey as the most dangerous to the teeth, but nearly half of all sports-related mouth injuries occur in basketball and baseball! A properly fitted mouthguard can help protect your child’s mouth from injury if they are tackled, elbowed, or if they fall down. Our doctors are also happy to recommend the best mouth guard for your child’s mouth!

Start this school year off right with Cashmere Family Dentistry

Here at Cashmere Family Dentistry, we have everything it takes to build a solid foundation for a lifetime of healthy smiles for your child. We have three highly trained and experienced dentists, who, along with the rest of our skilled staff, are proud to provide only the highest quality care for families in Wenatchee and the surrounding communities. We offer a wide variety of dental service, from general dentistry to cosmetic and restorative procedure to emergency care.

In today’s economy, we know that paying out of pocket for even routine care can sometimes be out of your budget, so we have partnered with Quality Dental Plan. This is a dental savings plan for both new and existing patients in our practice. This customized membership program that covers your preventive care at 100% in our practice, and members also receive valuable benefits on restorative care and even cosmetic dentistry! We also accept most major insurance plans, and several smaller ones as well. Our front office staff is always available to help you navigate your insurance claims and paperwork.  We’ll work with your provider to make sure your coverage meets your needs and stays within your budget! For families who need it, we offer affordable payment plans through Care Credit. We never want a patient to go without the dental care they need because of their budget. We’ll work with you to meet your needs and stay within your budget.

Start this school year off with a smile, and get in touch with us today to schedule a back-to-school checkup for your child!