August 1, 2017
Can you believe that summer’s coming to a close? As the first day of school approaches, you are probably starting to think about buying school supplies and clothing, signing up for fall sports, and getting your kids back into a school-year routine. You may even have scheduled them for a checkup or physical with their pediatrician.
But have you thought about making a back-to-school dental appointment for your child? This is not something that all parents think about — but they really should. When was his or her last dental appointment? If it’s been around six months or longer, now is the time to call Synergy Dental, your Gillette, WY family dentist, at (307) 622-1311. We will get your child’s teeth in tip-top shape for the coming school year, plus discuss any concerns or issues you have.
What Happens at a Back-to-School Dental Appointment?
Your child’s back-to-school appointment at Synergy Dental will be much like a regular checkup, though there are a few additional issues you may want to bring up. Here is what to expect:
- A good cleaning: This is very important because even great oral-care habits at home can’t get rid of all of the plaque and tartar that builds up between teeth and along the gumline. If not removed, plaque and tartar cause all sorts of problems, from bad breath to cavities. We will also polish and floss your child’s teeth.
- A meticulous examination: Dr. Porter will inspect your child’s mouth to check for decay and gum disease.
- X-rays: X-rays aren’t necessary at every dental visit, but they should be done periodically to check for problems not visible during Dr. Porter’s exam: abscesses, decay between teeth, impacted teeth, and more.
- Sealants: If your child does not already have sealants on his or her teeth, we strongly urge you to consider getting them. A dental sealant is a protective plastic coating that is typically placed on the chewing surfaces of the molars and premolars. First, the teeth are cleaned and treated with an acidic solution that will help the sealant adhere better. Then, the sealant is applied and hardened. The process is fast and painless. While dental sealants are enormously effective, having been shown to reduce cavities by 80%, they are no replacement for good oral hygiene — regular brushing and flossing are a must!
- Fluoride treatments: Fluoride is a mineral that helps strengthen the tooth’s enamel, making it resistant to the bacteria that can lead to decay. At Synergy Dental, we offer fluoride treatments and varnishes to give added protection to your child’s teeth.
- Mouthguards: We craft custom mouthguards that are far superior to the off-the-shelf variety. For active children (and adults!) mouthguards are essential to keeping the teeth and mouth safe from injury. We can also make mouthguards for bruxism (clenching and grinding.)
Good Dental Care Continues at Home
So your child has a clean mouth and a confident smile after his or her dental appointment. That’s great — but good habits at home are vital for maintaining healthy teeth and gums. And, if your summer schedule has been on the lax side, now is a great time to start implementing a more rigid school-year routine. This should include brushing twice per day with fluoride toothpaste, flossing once per day, and avoiding cavity-causing foods and drinks, such as:
- Chewy candies and granola bars
- Gummy fruit snacks and fruit leather
- Soda, juice, and sports drinks
Encourage your child to eat foods that are good for their teeth (and health overall):
- Cheese, milk, and other calcium-rich dairy products
- Fresh fruit and vegetables (vitamins and minerals help strengthen teeth)
- Good ol’ H2O: water helps keep your mouth clean by rinsing away harmful bacteria and bits of food. Try to drink tap, not bottled, if possible. The fluoride helps to strengthen teeth.
Remember these healthy eating tips when you pack your child’s school lunches this year. If he or she buys lunch at the cafeteria, go over menus and pick out good options together.