Back to school time means doctors appointments, school shopping, and new classes. But back to school is also a great time to get your child back to the dentist for their routine dental cleaning. 

Today, we’re going to talk through some tips and tricks that will help your child keep their white smile all year long!

If you need to schedule your child for their next dental appointment, we offer family dental care at First Hill Dental Center in Seattle. Call us to make an appointment or to ask questions about our family dental care services. 

Get Routine Teeth Cleaning

If your children are due for their next dental cleaning and exam, back to school is the perfect time to fit that in. This helps your child start the year knowing their teeth are clean and healthy. 

While you’re there, ask your dentist about sealants and fluoride. These different options can help prevent cavities before they start and prevent decay on their teeth. 

Choose Healthy Snacks 

Helping your child make better choices when it comes to their snacks keeps their teeth looking white and free of cavities. 

At First Hill Dental Center, we know how hard it can be to know what snack choices are bad for your child. A good rule is to avoid foods that have sugar, like candy, drinks with carbonation, along with: 

  • Bread, which causes your saliva to turn the starches in the bread into sugar. 
  • Chewing ice, which can chip, crack, and break teeth.
  • Too much citrus, which can erode enamel.
  • Potato chips, which are loaded with starch. 
  • Dried fruit, which can get stuck and cling to teeth and crevices. 

If there are certain foods you are worried about your child having, make sure you ask their dentist during your next routine cleaning appointment. 

But what snacks can your child have? Give them snacks like: 

  • Celery sticks
  • Baby carrots
  • Cubes of cheddar cheese 
  • Apples
  • Milk or yogurt
  • Nuts and seeds

Make Brushing Fun

Typically, children should brush their teeth for two minutes twice a day — not to mention the time they should spend flossing their teeth after brushing. But if brushing isn’t fun for your child, it might quickly become a fight every time they need to brush. When your child doesn’t brush their teeth on a regular basis, they are more prone to cavities and other problems with their teeth. 

But there are different ways you can make brushing their teeth fun. For example, you can create a sticker calendar for them that they get to fill with stickers every time they brush. 

If you’re having trouble hitting that two-minute mark for brushing, find a song they can brush to and have them listen to two minutes of that song while they brush. 

If they’re not interested in brushing at all, have them pick out a fun colored or themed toothbrush, along with some fun toothpaste. 

Regularly Check Their Teeth

It’s important to check your child’s teeth between cleaning appointments at their dentist. But what are you looking for when you check their teeth? You want to make sure they’re getting all of the food out from in-between their teeth. Beyond that, you want to make sure they’re not getting any new stains or areas of discoloration on their teeth. 

If you start to notice red and swollen gums or drastic changes in their tooth color, that’s a good sign that they should go see the dentist. 

Guard Their Teeth Against Injuries

Back to school time also means time for gym classes and sports teams. If your child is playing any kind of sport, either in gym class or as an extracurricular activity, make sure their teeth stay protected! This is especially important, however, if your child chooses to play a contact sport like football, soccer, and basketball. 

You can either contact your dentist about getting a customized mouth guard for your child, or you can find a generic mouthguard that will keep their teeth safe during any activity. 

Replace Their Toothbrush Regularly

Did you know that you should be replacing toothbrushes every three to four months? The same goes for your child’s toothbrush.

Brushes that have become frayed are not as effective at cleaning your teeth — especially when it comes to getting food out of your crevices. 

Find Your Seattle Dentist Today

When it comes to family dental care, you don’t want to take any risks! Back to school time has already arrived, so make sure your child is set up to handle the year with a white smile.

We hope our tips help you and your entire family work towards clean and healthy teeth. But when it’s time for those regular cleaning and exams — or if you find yourself in an emergency dental situation — contact First Hill Dental Center in Seattle to schedule an appointment today!