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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Rogers

Back to Basics

It’s currently the first week back to school. Back to routine and back to things like packing lunches, eating breakfast and getting out the door on time. Many of us parents get a little anxiety this time of year but fear not. We have a few tips so that your child’s oral health care doesn’t get skipped during these hectic times.

Make a morning to do chore list for you kids. Start them young, they’ll feel like they’re accomplishing something from the start of the day. Make it a habit. It takes 60 days for a habit to form and in young children even less time so stay consistent. Keep it simple. Stars and check marks work (don’t reinvent the wheel). Create an easy to follow chore chart for their daily routine and as they get older add things to the list. Get them involved by adding stickers and fun colours! Start with making their beds, getting dressed and brushing their teeth. If they’re younger than 8 we recommend you assist them. Brushing in the morning is extremely important to remove that night time plaque. Remember, as a rule of thumb, plaque goes from the soft sticky yellowish film to hard calculus in less than 24 hours. It’s best to brush and floss twice a day. We also recommend a small, very soft toothbrush head so you can get into those tinier mouths. We also suggest a power tooth brush for your older (more lazy) children. May I suggest that one will make more friends with fresher breath? It definitely is a motivator for my older son… We also recommend a tooth paste with fluoride if they can spit it all out. Topical fluoride application is vital for cavity prevention in small people.

Often, after summer vacation we see a many children in our practice with more cavities than normal. It’s usually due to them getting into those delicious camp fire marshmallows followed up by some pop or a slushy at the fair. Hey, we love summer treats as much as the next person but, after a few months of bingeing on junk combined with routine on hiatus, it’s time to get back on track. It’s time to schedule your dental check-ups and time to put some new batteries in that power tooth brush.

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