Getting Children to Form Healthy Dental Habits During School

As summer winds down, we have to start thinking about the kids going back to school. This means that children will be eating school lunches or packed lunches, and obviously, you want your kids to eat healthy while out and about at school. A lot of parents don’t think about how much dental health plays into lunch options for the kids, but remember not practicing healthy dental habits can result in your child getting a lot of cavities. Here are some of the best back to school tips when it comes to getting your child into good dental habits early on.

brushing teeth

Eat healthy foods when you are at home. It is important that you make sure your child is eating healthy food while at home, especially since you can’t always control what they are eating while at school. One of the best ways that you can get your child into healthy dental habits is to watch and control the types of foods they are eating for breakfast and dinner, and always serve healthier snack options at night. A lot of natural foods also contain lower sugar amounts that are less damaging to the teeth, and this is important to keep the teeth as clean as possible. You should also remember that the first way to get your kid to eat healthy while they are at school is to eat healthy at home, which sets up a pattern and a good foundation for them to jump off of.

Pack a lunch with dairy and fruits for the school lunches. It is essential that you pack your child more natural products than processed foods, and this means a lot of dairy and fruits. Instead of packing popular snacks that are unhealthy, you need to pack snacks that will be good for dental health, such as carrots or apples. The fruits will help satisfy your child’s craving for sweets, but won’t be as damaging to them as something like a piece of chocolate or a pudding. The fruits will also give your child essential vitamins and minerals that they need to continue growing strong. Milk also is good to pack because it helps the bones grow stronger and it allows the teeth to stay healthier too. A string cheese or a carton of milk is a great addition to the lunchbox, because it helps keep cravings in check and it also makes the teeth stronger.

Stop packing sticky or sugary foods in the lunchbox. When it comes to helping your child keep good dental hygiene, you should think about avoiding the sugary foods and sticky foods. Any foods that are sticky or sugary promote tooth decay, and foods that do this include gummies or candies. These foods are high in sugar and are also difficult to get out of the teeth later on, such as during evening brushing. If the products get stuck in the teeth then you are looking at a high risk of tooth decay if it isn’t immediately dislodged. One of the worst things you can give your teeth is sugar, but sugar is almost in everything, so you want to just avoid the products that have extra or added sugar such as sugary beverages or cookies. You should go with lower sugar items, such as products that a lot of people who have diabetes would eat or do with more natural products that contain no sugar. Instead of something like regular applesauce, you should get no-sugar added applesauce, and the children will not hardly notice the difference unless you tell them.

Make sure that your child is brushing morning and night. When your child gets back to school, it does make it more difficult in terms of making sure they brush their teeth before they head off in the mornings. You want to start a schedule early on in the year, making sure that your children are brushing their teeth before they leave in the morning, and then again brushing their teeth before they to go bed in the evening. Your child might want to go to bed early because of homework or being tired, but you need to ensure they at least brush their teeth before they end up in bed for the night. By starting off the school year with a morning and evening brushing, you will be teaching your child a routine and the importance of always taking care of your hygiene even when you are busy doing activities such as homework or school sports. You should make sure your child brushes in the morning after breakfast before leaving for school, and then ensure they brush at night after dinner. You can also make it more fun by putting on their favorite song during tooth brushing, which works really well for younger children to get them excited to brush their teeth. You should make it a fun experience and even brushing with them at night and the mornings will show them that you too care about your tooth health.

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Jeanne Rose
Jeanne Rose lives in Cincinnati, Ohio, and has been a freelance writer since 2010. She took Allied Health in vocational school where she earned her CNA/PCA, and worked in a hospital for 3 years. Jeanne enjoys writing about science, health, politics, business, and other topics as well.