2020 has been absolutely topsy-turvy because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the current situation has forced us to make drastic changes in our lives to avoid the spread of the virus.

August is generally the start of the school year, and parents and students are preparing themselves for the road ahead. 

However, this upcoming academic year is going to be a brand new experience for everyone, as some school districts will be starting their school year virtually. From tablets to notebooks, internet to pen and pencils, there are plenty of items that are going to be needed to start the semester off on the right foot.

While there are plenty of physical items needed to get the year started, there are other essential details that need to be considered. One of those key things to keep in mind is your child’s oral health.  

The Edinburg pediatric dentist of Heroes Dental is here to give you the ultimate run-down on why visiting a dentist before the start of the school year can come with tremendous benefits, as well as some important tips on how to take care of your child’s oral health throughout the semester to make this an excellent school year. 

Why Consulting With a Dentist Before School Starts Is Vital

Whether your child is returning to class in person or virtually, getting a dental checkup before school starts have never been more crucial, now more than ever. Unfortunately, the current pandemic might have meant that you skipped out on a dental appointment. This could mean that your child is dealing with some oral health issue that hasn’t yet been addressed. And with the school year starting soon, you won’t want them to miss out on a single day of class, especially as many students had an abrupt stop to the 2019-2020 school year.    

It is recommended that you and your children get a dental checkup once every 6 months. Again, normally the summertime is the best time to do so but with things being as they are, many families may not have had the opportunity to visit with their dentist. 

Six months tend to be magic because, during that time period, unwanted bacteria and tartar plaque can begin to buildup and lead to unwanted issues, such as gum disease and cavities.

Visiting a dentist once every six months, like the Edinburg pediatric dentists of Heroes Dental, can help to uncover those unwanted threats before they even occur! Preventing any serious oral health issues from developing means one less thing to worry about at the start of the school year. And with so many uncertainties and questions in the air, don’t we all want a little less stress in our life. 

Dental Checklist for the New School Year

While your child may be in a virtual classroom at home for the foreseeable future, it is still important to have your child’s oral health in mind. Making sure your family follows the guidelines listed below will help to protect your smiles throughout the fall semester and into the upcoming year. 

1. New School Year, New Toothbrush

When bristles become frayed and worn out, they are not as effective at cleaning your teeth and can even spread unwanted plaque around your mouth rather than actually getting rid of it. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), it is best to replace your toothbrush once every 3 to 4 months, as toothbrushes normally don’t have a long shelf life and/or efficiency as they once did when they were first used.

For the sake of maintaining the best oral health possible during the upcoming school year, it is best to replace your child’s old toothbrush with a brand new one, then another around the holiday season.

2. Healthy Diet Habits

While your kids might be stuck at home for the foreseeable future, unhealthy eating habits can develop over time. Having a scoop of ice cream or piece of candy every once in a while won’t do much damage to your children’s teeth, but excessive amounts of junk food and sugary snacks can cause significant damage to your child’s oral health and overall wellbeing. 

As parents, it’s our essential duty to make sure our children are as healthy as possible, and it begins at the dinner table. The healthier and leaner choices you bring to the dinner table, the healthier your family will be. Additionally, wiser dinner table decisions can ultimately boost up your family’s immune system.

When a strong immune system is developed, it can ultimately lead to healthier teeth and stronger gums, keeping them safe from developing more problematic oral conditions like periodontitis.

So for this upcoming school year, consider putting the following foods on your table next time you make a visit to your nearest grocery store:

  • Lean proteins: lean beef, skinless chicken, fish, and light tofu.
  • Whole-grain foods: quinoa, plain oats, and whole wheat bread products.
  • Essential fruits and vegetables: berries, peaches, apples, oranges, green beans, broccoli, and all other essential greens.
  • Low-fat dairy products: Greek yogurt, cheese sticks, low-fat milk
  • Vegan choices and dairyless alternatives to the foods listed above (if applicable).

3. Suitable Mouthguards for At-Home Training Sessions

Many of our children are student-athletes eager to get back into the field or court. While scholastic sporting events are currently up in the air, that doesn’t mean your children have to remain inactive, so long as proper social distancing procedures are kept, of course. While staying in a good shape is important for sports competitions, it is also important to protect your teeth by having a specifically tailored mouthguard when training and competing. 

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), it is reported that approximately ⅓ of all dental injuries are sports-related. However, on a more positive note, it is also reported that the use of mouthguards helps prevent over 200,000 oral injuries annually!

Investing in the right mouthguard can ultimately help protect your child’s teeth and oral health when training at home or competing in a contact sport like soccer or football once the time comes again! Our Edinburg pediatric dentist can help recommend which mouthguard may work best for your child.

4. Essential Daily Dental Routine 

Protect your children’s teeth by adopting a daily dental routine. Have your children:

  • Brush their teeth two to three times a day with an American Dental Association (ADA) approved fluoride toothpaste.
  • Floss at least once a day in order to get rid of all leftover food particles, plaque, and bacteria in between the teeth that a standard toothbrush can’t pick up.
  • Rinse off with non-alcoholic, antibacterial mouthwash in order to eliminate any leftover bacteria.
  • Choose greener, healthier, and smarter snacking alternatives, and limit the number of times your children snack throughout the day.
  • Drink a healthy serving of water per day to maintain hydration and wash away unwanted bacteria from your mouth.
  • Avoid any hard foods that can cause a tooth to chip or break, especially hard candies or snacks.

What to Expect When Visiting Heroes Dental

While it’s recommended to get a dental checkup every six months, many families have been unable to do so as a result of the alarming spikes of COVID-19 cases across the Rio Grande Valley. Understandably, families may feel unsure about visiting their local pediatric dentist.

Rest assured, however, that our Edinburg pediatric dentists and staff are doing everything we possibly can to ensure a safe, clean, and sanitized office. Not only are we taking extra measures to maintain a clean environment, but we are also enforcing social distancing measures and mask-wearing to protect the safety and health of our clients. 

Our dentists and staff will make sure your visit goes as smooth and worry-free as possible. We use the latest technology and tools to make sure your child gets the best dental care possible. A deep cleaning will help to eliminate bacteria and plaque that have been lingering around, and we’ll make sure your child has the brightest smile in their virtual classroom. 

Heroes Dental: Making Your Dental Health Our #1 Priority! 

While there is still a lot of question marks and uncertainty to how this upcoming school year will be conducted, making sure your child’s oral health is in tip-top shape at the start of the school year can be one less thing to worry about! 

The Edinburg pediatric dentist and staff of Heroes Dental are able to provide your child with a thorough and kid-friendly dental examination that can brighten up their smiles for the new school year, no matter where it may take place.

As the dentistry that takes pride in keeping our community safe, it is our main duty to work together to prevent the unwanted spread of the coronavirus within our office. With this said, we do our part in embracing the necessary social distancing protocols and deep sanitation techniques recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in order to protect our staff, our visitors, and most importantly, our precious little heroes.

Brighten up that smile right on time for the new school year by visiting your Edinburg pediatric dentist!

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