Most parents know how important it is to instill good oral care habits in their children as early as possible. After all, it’s crucial for a healthy smile! However, encouraging your little ones to take good care of their teeth has more benefits than you might think. Read on as a children’s dentist in Long Island City explains how good oral health can set your child up for academic success this school year.
How Does Oral Health Affect Academic Performance?
Did you know a healthy smile can affect other aspects of your life? Recent studies show that children with poor oral health are significantly associated with reduced school performance and psychosocial well-being. That’s because when children suffer from dental-related problems and conditions, they miss school more often and spend their time in a clinic instead. One report from the Office of Surgeon General states that more than 51 million school hours are lost each year due to oral health issues.
Back-to-School Oral Health Tips
Prevent dental-related absences this school year by helping your child maintain good oral health. Here are some tips:
Practice Good Oral Hygiene
Even though tooth decay is one of the most prevalent childhood conditions, it’s easily preventable with good oral hygiene. You can help your child establish a routine by encouraging them to brush and floss their teeth at the same time each day. Eventually, these habits will become second nature for them, just like getting dressed for school and putting on pajamas before bed!
Make Brushing Fun
Does your little one hate brushing their teeth because it feels like a chore? Try making it more exciting for them. Next time you go shopping for oral care essentials, bring your child along and allow them to choose their toothbrush, toothpaste, and dental floss. They can choose a toothbrush that lights up, plays music, or has their favorite character on it, giving them something to look forward to every time they brush!
Pack Healthy Lunches
If you’re a busy parent, it’s easy to toss store-bought snacks and drinks into your child’s lunchbox and call it a day. Unfortunately, most of these foods contain an excessive amount of sugar, putting your little one’s oral health at risk. Instead, keep their smile safe and pack them a nutritious, well-balanced lunch!
Cheese, milk, plain yogurt, whole grains, deli meat, fresh fruits, and raw vegetables are excellent options. If they eat at the school cafeteria, make sure you teach them how to make healthy food choices before school starts.
Schedule a Dental Checkup
The beginning of the school year is the perfect time to schedule your child’s biannual checkup. It allows their dentist to evaluate their mouth and detect, treat, or prevent any problems that can turn into severe complications down the road. When your child’s oral health is in optimal condition, it won’t interfere with their class time.
As you can see, proper dental care affects far more than just oral health. By following the tips outlined above from a children’s dentist in Long Island City, you help your child maintain a bright, healthy smile all year long!
About the Practice
Dr. Michelle Ng earned her dental doctorate from the University of Texas Houston Dental Branch. A board-certified pediatric dentist, she believes every child is unique and always makes the extra effort to ensure that all the children feel special from the moment they enter the LIC Dental Associates office. If your child needs dental services, she offers sedation dentistry, and evening appointments are available to accommodate busy schedules. Schedule an appointment on her website or call (718) 530-6539.