6 Back-to-school Tips for Kids' Oral Health

By - Bad Breath Expert

SUMMARY:  School is right around the corner. And that means preparing your youngster for class, buying new books and making sure he or she looks presentable - that includes oral hygiene. No one wants to show up on the first day with bad breath, so check out these simple back-to-school tips.

Posted: August 29, 2014

  oral health back to school School is right around the corner. And that means preparing your youngster for class, buying new books and making sure he or she looks presentable - that includes oral hygiene. No one wants to show up on the first day with bad breath, so check out these simple back-to-school tips.  1. Swap toothbrushes The start of school is a great time to for your child to ditch his or her old, summer-scuffed toothbrush for a new one. Dentists recommend getting a new toothbrush every two to three months. Otherwise, bad bacteria and food particles can cause microbes to grow on bristles and handles. If your kid has an electric toothbrush, swap heads - and make sure they clean the handle, too. 2. Instill brushing and flossing into their routine In the morning routine, your kids can start the day off right by brushing and flossing their teeth. Scrubbing your chompers will get rid of morning breath while flossing can detach food debris from those hard-to-reach places. Everyone's supposed to brush their teeth for two minutes, twice a day. If 120 seconds feels like an eternity to your little one, tell them to hum their favorite song while brushing - whether it's Beyonce, Justin Timberlake or Sam Smith, it'll likely get them to clean a little bit longer. Don't forget a nighttime scrub! Dental experts say brushing habits that children develop between the ages of 4 to 14 affect the way they'll brush for the rest of their lives. 3. Invest in mouthwash Say goodbye to bad breath with alcohol-free mouthwash. Ingredients in mouthwash bind to the surface of germs and cause them to burst, which helps reduce buildup on teeth and gums. Avoid mouthwash that contains alcohol, as it actually dries out the mouth, which can lead to stinky breath. 4. Eat a balanced breakfast We hear that phrase a lot in cereal commercials - "a balanced breakfast." Yet most people skip the fruits and head straight for the box of sugary cereal. A healthy morning meal contains a mix of complex carbohydrates and protein to fuel your child until lunch. You can pair more nutritious whole-grain breakfast cereals or whole-wheat toast with a protein source such as milk, yogurt, eggs, peanut butter or cheese. Add an apple, orange or banana to the mix and your child will have a truly balanced meal.5. Schedule a dentist appointment When was the last time your child went to the dentist? If it's been more than six months, it's time to pay a visit. The American Dental Association suggests visiting the dentist once every six months. Professionals can catch plaque buildup, gum erosion and other concerns that we often overlook before they develop into something worse. 6. Cleaner teeth, better grades? That's right, kids may be able to boost their grades by simply keeping their teeth clean, according to a study from the University of Southern California's Ostrow School of Dentistry. Students miss a total of 51 million school hours each year due to toothaches and other dental diseases, forcing them to catch up on old assignments and pace through a heightened workload.  The study showed that children in the Los Angeles School District who had tooth pain were four times more likely to have a grade point average below the median GPA of 2.8 than kids who had no tooth pain. So, the cleaning that gets done inside the bathroom can impact students' academic performance in the classroom.

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