The weather is getting cooler (okay, well, let’s pretend =) and the tree leaves are getting the first hints of red and yellow. It can only mean one thing – autumn is on its way and with it comes back-to-school! There’s only about a week left till school starts so you’re probably rushing around making sure you have all the essentials – school clothes, school supplies, new back-to-school hairdos, backpacks, lunchboxes. Whew, the list is long! Much as we hate to add one more thing to that list, we’re going to because now is an excellent time to take care of a little dental preventive maintenance too. This way you’ll be prepared for the new school year not only with all the basics but with a great grin as well!
You know how important preventive maintenance is – it’s not just good dental care, it’s good health care – and timing your twice-yearly cleanings with events like back-to-school means you’re pairing it up with something important that makes it less likely that you’ll forget (always a plus!). Not to mention, dental check-ups can help set the tone for the school year! How so? Good dental health is linked to academic success. That might sound a little strange and far out there, so let us explain how that works. See, dental disease causes children to miss more than 51 MILLION school hours annually, so a back-to-school check-up is a great opportunity to reinforce healthy habits and identify/fix any potential problems before school starts. Less dental issues = less school time missed = greater academic success. Pretty simple (well maybe not that easy, but you get it =)!
Another way to help guarantee your child’s teeth stay healthy during the school year is by packing snacks and lunches with foods that are good for their teeth! For better or worse, food has a big impact on your child’s teeth. For example, there are many types of foods that can cause tooth decay in children other than candy. Juice and soda are big culprits of this, both of which are popular with children (and even sugar-free soda can erode enamel due to its acidic content; same goes for sports drinks such as Gatorade & Powerade). And while fruit offers Vitamin C and other benefits, some citrus fruits such as grapefruits & lemons can erode enamel over time due to their acidic content. Chips, bread, & pasta made with white flour break down into simple sugars in the body which can lead to tooth decay.
Which foods are good for your child’s teeth? Well, it’s true what they say about an apple a day – though in this case, it keeps the dentist away! The process of chewing and eating apples can actually help remove plaque from teeth. Celery and carrots also provide this benefit, so they’re excellent to pack as snacks or for lunch as well. Oranges are a fruit without such a high acidic content that you can pack – a lack of Vitamin C can cause bleeding, swollen gums. Low-fat yogurt, milk, and cheese are all excellent sources of calcium – good for teeth and bones. Nuts and seeds also make a great, mouth-friendly snack! Acids remove tooth enamel, but foods with high amounts of calcium and phosphorus, such as almonds, peanuts, and cashews, can protect teeth by replenishing those minerals.
With a back-to-school dental check-up and healthy, teeth-friendly lunches and snacks, your child will be set for this school year! There’s only a week left until the beginning of school, so call 201-438-2373 today to make your child’s appointment!
** Practicing as a New Jersey dentist for the last 34 years, Dr. Graber has had additional training in bonded fillings and operative endodontic, periodontal and cosmetic dentistry. He also trained in Brassler endodontics. Dr. Graber is a member of the American Academy of Facial Cosmetics. He is presently offering free consultations for Botox and dermal fillers.**