Whether the kids in your life are heading back to school in person or virtually, the season means more structure, less free time, and probably some stress, even in a normal year. Maintaining or starting a back to school dental routine can give you back to school smiles with peace of mind and least one less worry on your list.
Dental Care for the Whole Family
Back to school routines and changes aren’t just for kids. Traffic gets heavier, calendars fill up, meeting schedules lose flexibility, and we could all use some cues to make time for taking care of ourselves, including our teeth.
The most important things you can do to enhance dental care and back to school smiles are to make a plan and find a routine that works for you regardless of what life throws your way. One way or another, your back to school dental routine should include:
- Brush and Floss at least twice a day
- Schedule your semi-annual cleaning appointment, preferably before school’s back in session
- Get a new toothbrush (quarterly refresh is recommended)
- Stick with healthy snacks that keep your teeth clean, like crisp veggies and fruits
- Bonus: for those with braces, be sure to cut those apples into slices instead of packing a whole piece of fruit in your lunchbox!
But advising a routine and sticking to it can be easier said than done, especially when nothing is quite normal. There are pros and cons of both virtual and in-person school when it comes to dental care. Below are some things to keep in mind when mapping out your dental care plan for the start of school.
Back to School Dental Care: E-Learning and Work from Home
- Parental supervision
- It’s easier to maintain a regular schedule of brushing and flossing teeth after every meal
- It may be easier to sneak in regular dental appointments without missing class
- No bartering away the healthy snacks for the sweet stuff
- More stress of adapting to a new way of learning (and sometimes teaching, with parents filling in gaps)
- Potential for extra trips to the pantry or fridge for snacks you might otherwise avoid
- Less overall supervision if both parents are working
- Feeling of a time warp making you forget to toss your old toothbrush for a new one
Back to School Dental: Return to the Classroom
- Known schedule facilitates making and keeping dental appointments
- Structured supervision by teachers and administrators instead of distracted parents
- Familiar environment and social interaction reduces stress
- Less time to snack mindlessly (and harder to sneak a bite when you’re wearing a mask)
- Stress of health risks and extra safety precautions
- More constraints on time to make/keep your dental appointments
- Can be tricky to brush and floss after lunch
- Peer pressure to ditch the apple in favor of candy
Sticking to Your Plan for Back to School Dental Care
Whatever you’re dealing with, you and your kids will have a much easier time taking good care of your teeth if you think it through, have a plan and stick to your routine. And when you do, we know that also means we’ll see you soon with big back to school smiles on your faces.