Back to School and Back to Brushing!

Monday August 20th will bring the first day of school for Pella students, as well as the re-establishment of rigid morning routines in many households. In the summertime, students become accustomed to sleeping in, having fun, and irregularity in their daily routine. Back to school, in contrast, means back to waking early, eating a healthy breakfast, and brushing and flossing.
These tips can help parents and kids effectively take care of their dental hygiene in a matter of just 10 minutes a day.

  • Build 5 minutes into your morning and before-bed schedule for oral hygiene. Establishing this habit could keep you from spending hours in the dental chair throughout life.
  • To motivate kids toward brushing regularly, let your children select their own toothbrushes.  Electric toothbrushes are a favorite among kids. These days, battery-operated toothbrushes can be purchased for as little as $5.
  • Also allow your child to choose a toothpaste he likes. Some people prefer gels, while others like the feel of a paste. Flavors range from mint to citrus.
  • If your child does not like to floss, purchase a bag of disposable flossers. For only a few dollars, you can stock up a month’s supply. These handheld devices make flossing easy, and even fun!
  • Put a timer in the bathroom. Whether you opt for a digital, rotary, or sand version, a timer will help your kids remember to brush for a full two minutes, morning and evening.
  • Follow up. The only way you can know if your child – even your teenager – is brushing and flossing is to check. Little kids don’t mind an actual inspection. You’ll do better with older kids if you inspect from a distance, looking at their teeth when they talk.
  • If your child isn’t yet in school, he will need you to supervise brushing and flossing. Be sure to use un-fluoridated toothpaste to avoid fluorosis lines on permanent teeth later in life.

A few other things you can do to keep your kids’ smiles healthy:

  • Provide sugar-free gum for you kids to chew when they get home from school.
  • Stock the fridge with healthy, crunchy veggies and sticks of cheese for snacking.
  • Do not allow your children to drink energy drinks or sports drinks. Their high acid and sugar content wreaks havoc on teeth! Instead, offer tap water. It has fluoride to strengthen growing teeth and protect against decay.

Dr. Allen and the Allen Family Dentistry Team wish your family good grades and winning games this school year! Don’t forget to schedule six-month checkups and cleanings, and if your child plays sports, ask us about a custom mouthguard for protection. Have questions? Need a checkup? Give us a call today!
Dr. Jeffrey Allen provides comfortable dental care to patients of all ages. Call (641) 628-1121 today to schedule a checkup and cleaning, cosmetic consultation, or second-opinion visit. We are located on the west side of the historic town square in Pella, IA. Please see the map for directions.