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Back To School Smiles

Posted on August 12, 2014 | in Dentistry for Kids | by

Back To School Dental Appointments

Back to school season is on top of us already, can you believe it?

It seems like just five or six weeks ago we were talking about how summer is the smile season, and our favorite things about summer that make us smile.

OK, maybe it was exactly that long ago…but who’s counting.

Despite our best efforts to keep the days long and our sleeves short, autumn is just around the corner. Schools across the county will be starting up very soon, some as early as mid-August and others not until after the long Labor Day weekend.



Before we welcome in the leaves changing colors and start passing out enough Halloween treats to trick the cavity creeps into thinking we don’t care about our kid’s teeth, let’s look at why back to school season is the perfect time for a dental checkup, cleaning, and exam.

Back To School Dental Appointments – What Better Time?

Did you know that some states actually require dental checkups at specific intervals?

During the back to school rush kids often undergo routine physicals, immunizations, in addition to hearing and vision tests. A dental exam is as important as booster shots and should be a regular part of back-to-school preparations.

Many parents don’t realize that tooth decay is an infectious disease for which there is no immunization. According to the ADA, more than one-half of all children aged 5 to 9 years have at least one cavity or filling.

A painful tooth or chronic dental problem can lead to difficulty in eating, speaking and even concentrating.

According to the Academy of General Dentistry, more than 51 million school hours are lost each year due to dental-related illnesses. Pediatric dental disease is 5 times more common than asthma and 7 times more common than hay fever.

And according to this CBS news article we wrote about here, children in the Los Angeles School District who had tooth pain were 4x more likely to have a grade point average below the median GPA of 2.8.



Regular dental checkups and preventive dental care, such as cleanings and fluoride treatment, provide children with “smile” insurance.

Routine dental examinations uncover problems that can be treated in the early stages, when damage is minimal and restorations may be small.

This helps prevent painful, chronic conditions and saves parents money!

Back To School Dental Health Checklist

A dental exam is as important as immunizations and booster shots, and should be a regular part of back-to-school preparations.

Check out this checklist, courtesy of Colgate and the ADA to ensure your child is starting off the school year on the right foot:

  • Regular dental examinations to diagnose and treat or prevent dental problems. Parents and teachers may not realize there’s a dental problem, so regular checkups are important. Your dentist may suggest fluoride treatments or sealants to prevent decay and can diagnose and treat dental problems to save your child pain and lost school time.
  • Regular brushing with fluoride toothpaste and flossing. Head for the dental care isle when you’re out shopping for notebooks, binders and pencils. If parents buy several toothbrushes they could have their child change to a new one every three months or so, or after an illness. If it’s hard to remember when to change a brush, you could try to change it every time report cards come out. Ask your dentist for a recommendation on how often to change toothbrushes.
  • Eating healthy lunches and snacks. Include portable healthy lunch items and snacks in your child’s sack lunch, including grains, milk, cheese, raw vegetables, yogurt or fruit. If your child eats in the school cafeteria, review healthy, balanced food choices with him before the first day of school. Cut back on sugary foods and soft drinks.
  • Wearing a properly fitted mouthguard while participating in organized sports, PE classes or playground activities.

Avoid the Acidic Drinks!

Tooth enamel is the protective barrier that naturally coats our teeth.

This protective barrier helps ward off the harmful bacteria that causes cavities. Unfortunately, while tooth enamel is extremely strong, it can be damaged by acid erosion.

Acids occur in certain foods and beverages – like energy drinks, sodas, & sports drinks.

Do your children a favor this back to school season and kick the habit of plying them with these sugary syrupy sweet drinks that’ll have them buzzing their way to the principle’s office because they can’t stop fidgeting or talking in class – promote water instead!

Shop for Back To School Smile Savings on Amazon


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+Chris Barnard is Managing Editor of DentalPatientNews.com, a patient-centric Social Dental Network blog dedicated to enabling the digital dental health conversation - and the eradication of the cavity creeps.

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