Now that kids are back to school, we want to remind parents to make healthy decisions when packing school lunches. Not only is too much sugar bad for your child’s overall health, it’s also very damaging to his or her oral health as well. If you’re packing snacks like candy, cookies, or even chewy fruit snacks, the sugars contained in these foods with mix with bacteria from plaque and create acid, which can weaken your child’s tooth enamel. Once this enamel is weakened, your child’s teeth are much more vulnerable to tooth decay and dental cavities.
Keeping Teeth Healthy At School
Below are just a few simple tips on helping your kids maintain their oral health throughout the school year.
- Before your child leaves for school in the morning, make sure he or she brushes with fluoride toothpaste. Your children should be brushing at least twice a day, once in the morning and once at night. Make sure these brushing sessions last for at least two minutes a time.
- If your child’s school allows chewing gum, you can pack sugar-free gum for your child to chew after lunch. Not only will chewing gum help to stimulate saliva (which helps wash away bacteria and harmful acid), but sugar-free gum also contains Xylitol. Studies have shown that exposure to Xylitol can actually decrease the bacteria that can cause dental cavities.
- Kids who wear braces should try to brush their teeth or at least rinse with water after eating lunch. Braces cause more food to be trapped between the wires against the teeth, which will cause more exposure to sugar, bacteria, and acid. Orthodontic treatment means that your child needs to be more vigilant than ever when it comes to good oral hygiene.
- Lastly, it’s up to you to make sure you’re packing healthy lunches for your kids to eat. Healthy choices include whole grain bread, low-fat yogurt or cheese, lean meats, baby carrots, baked chips, whole grain crackers, and apples. Not only are these choices full of healthy nutrients, but certain fruits and vegetables can help to clean teeth as kids bite into them.
Here at PeakView Dentistry, it’s important to us that your kids start the school year with a clean, healthy, and beautiful smile. For more information on how to maintain your child’s oral health, or to set up a dental appointment with Dr. Bahar Esmaili, please contact PeakView Dentistry today. Our family dentist office is located in Boulder, CO.