Back to School Dental Tips!

Smiling student going back to school with books and healthy teeth

It’s that time of year again—back to school! That means you’ll want your kids looking their best. You’ll probably want to get some of those dentist appointments out of the way before you have school, sports, and other activity schedules to contend with. Heading into the school year is the perfect time to schedule a check-up with the dentist for your whole family. Get your cleanings, and see what’s up with that sensitivity to ice cream you developed this summer.

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Back to school also means back to the routine of brushing before school, and before bed. Back to flossing 2-3 times a day, and for some of you, back to making sure you don’t throw your retainer out on your lunch tray (we’re looking at you, Billy). 

When is the Best Time to Book a Back to School Dental Appointment?

It’s always a bit easier to get an appointment during common vacation months or if you plan ahead and schedule your checkups in advance. If you haven’t already scheduled an appointment in advance this year, you can always call and ask to be notified of cancellations and take the first available appointment on a whim.

You should schedule an appointment as soon as possible if you haven’t seen a dentist in the past six months or more. You should really come in at least twice per year for a cleaning and dental examination. If we catch a cavity or other dental and orthodontic condition in its early stages, it will be much easier to treat.

What Are Some Winning Brushing Habits?

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that you brush your teeth twice a day. Brushing your teeth and tongue with a toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste cleans food and bacteria from your mouth.

How to Make Your Dental Routine a Habit?

Wake up in the morning and brush your teeth. It doesn’t matter if you brush your teeth before or after breakfast, but many people prefer to brush afterward to avoid the taste of toothpaste interfering with the taste of their food. Some people prefer to brush after breakfast to be sure to remove food particles from their teeth before starting the day at school or work. 

How Long Should You Brush Your Teeth?

Your dentist will generally recommend brushing your teeth for about 2 minutes, twice a day. This allows for thorough cleaning of all surfaces of your teeth, including the front, back, and chewing surfaces. It’s also important to use a toothbrush with soft bristles and to brush gently to avoid damaging your gums and enamel.

Some people find it helpful to use a timer or an electric toothbrush with a built-in timer to ensure they brush for the full recommended time. Plus, don’t forget to replace your toothbrush or toothbrush head every 3 to 4 months, or sooner if the bristles become frayed. 

Proper brushing technique and consistency are key to maintaining good oral hygiene and preventing dental issues like cavities and gum disease.

Flossing is important

Floss like you mean it!

  1. Break off about 18 to 24 inches of dental floss.
  2. Hold the floss tight with your thumbs and index fingers.
  3. Place the dental floss in between two teeth.
  4. As the floss reaches your gums, curve the floss at the base of the tooth to form a C shape and pull it down across each tooth.
  5. Repeat the steps from tooth to tooth until you’ve flossed them all.

How to Graduate to a Brighter, Whiter Smile?

Back to school is a great time to get your teeth professionally whitened. Your dentist likely has a few options for in office whitening or at home whitening. Over the counter strips, gels, and toothpastes are great, but you’ll get more noticeable results quicker with professional whitening. 

What to Be Cautious of Going Back to School with Braces?

Do you need braces and are worried what your classmates will think of your new smile when you go back to school? Don’t fret, there are a number of solutions including Invisalign clear aligners, and many options for braces and retainers. We’ll help you find the right approach to straighten your smile. 

A Fresh, Clean Smile

No matter when you go back to school, what grade you’re in, or if you’re the parent of young students, or an adult going back to school; there is nothing better than going back with a fresh, clean smile, and clean bill of dental health. Do your homework and make an appointment today to be ready for back to school in style.

Back to School Dental Hygiene FAQs

Oral health is crucial for students returning to school as it significantly impacts overall well-being and academic performance. Maintaining good oral hygiene helps prevent common issues like cavities, gum disease, and bad breath, ensuring students can focus on their studies without the distraction of dental discomfort. Additionally, oral health is linked to systemic health, making it essential for a robust immune system.

A healthy smile also boosts self-confidence, encouraging positive social interactions and a more productive learning environment. Thus, prioritizing oral health as students return to school is integral to their holistic growth and success.

Opting for nutritious and tooth-friendly snacks is essential for maintaining good dental hygiene as students return to school. Fresh fruits like apples, pears, and strawberries stimulate saliva production, helping to cleanse teeth and neutralize acids naturally. Crunchy vegetables such as carrots, celery, and bell peppers promote saliva flow while providing essential vitamins.

Cheese and yogurt are rich in calcium and phosphates that strengthen tooth enamel. Nuts, like almonds, are a protein-packed, low-sugar option. Water is the best beverage choice to accompany these snacks, as it helps rinse away food particles and reduce the impact of acidic substances. These snacks can support dental health and overall well-being during the school day.

Heading back to school with braces requires some extra care. First, pack a dental hygiene kit with a toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss to clean your braces and teeth after meals. Avoid sticky, chewy, and hard foods that damage braces or get stuck. Cut food into smaller, manageable pieces to prevent discomfort. Carry a small mirror to check for food particles in your braces throughout the day.

If you play sports, consider a mouthguard to protect your braces and mouth. Regular check-ups with your orthodontist will help ensure your braces are working effectively. By following these tips, you can navigate school confidently while maintaining the health of your braces and teeth.