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Back to School Tips for Healthy Teeth

September 11, 2018 By Dr. Rick Leppo

The beginning of the school year is usually a big transition as a student’s leisurely summer mornings are replaced by the mad dash to the bus stop. Getting back into a regular routine is a wonderful opportunity to return to daily oral care habits. The summertime brushing slack, was an invitation for teeth to become laden with harmful bacterial plaque. Here are some important reminders to put on your back to school checklist.

  • Check in and Brush Up

During the summer break we’re not surprised when kids visit the office for cleanings and can’t even remember the last time they picked up their toothbrush. Remember to always brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes. Come for dental exams and cleanings at least every six months. Dr. Leppo will check for health concerns such as oral cancer, which can go undetected, and address signs of decay so they can be treated early to prevent long-term problems.

  • Find the Right Supplies

Always use a soft-bristled toothbrush. Traditional toothbrushes work well, but for many people electric toothbrushes can be more effective. There are several models so be sure to ask us for a recommendation or visit our website for recommended dental supplies. Fluoridated rinses and water flossers can be especially helpful. Use a toothbrush timer, or try cleaning along to a song to ensure you are spending enough time brushing.

  • Eat Your Veggies

While packing lunch for the day, toss a few veggies into that brown bag. Lunchtime choices can make a big difference toward the daily and weekly totals for calories, fat, sugar and other nutrients. Consider limiting sugary snacks in the lunchbox. If you pack sliced apples in your child's lunch each day instead of a fruit roll, you'll cut sugar in your child's diet by 50 grams a week. Nutritious foods such as plain yogurt, cheese, fresh fruit or vegetables can also be a lunchbox favorite. Snacking on vegetables and fruits in between meals can reduce plaque buildup on your teeth. Eating an apple or a few slices of melon after a meal can help to eliminate plaque in a natural and delicious way. It cleans your teeth by removing food leftovers on your teeth and keeps the gums healthy. Some vegetables, celery for example, help remove food from in between your teeth and also help your saliva to neutralize plaque-causing acids. Rinsing your mouth out with water after meals will help neutralize cavity causing acids before you are able to brush.
Finding a good routine for your smile ensures you are cool for school. Filling the lunchbox with healthy food selections may help to reduce plaque build- up and maintain a healthy mouth. Make sure you’re all set for the school year by visiting Dr. Leppo and his fantastic team.

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