Oral Hygiene at School
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Oral Hygiene at School

Back to School season is upon us! Dr. Wilson Dover, here at Great Outdoors Pediatric Dentistry, would like to remind parents to make good decisions when packing your child’s school lunch. Too much sugar can harm your child’s oral and overall health. Snacks like cookies, candy and chewy fruit snacks will mix with bacteria in the sticky plaque that constantly forms on their teeth to generate acid, which can wear away enamel and cause tooth decay. While sweets may provide a temporary jolt for kids, that sugar rush soon turns into a crash and kids are left feeling lethargic. Forego these sugary snacks and pack an apple instead!

Top 5 Oral Health Practices at School:

After breakfast, make sure your child brushes well with a fluoride toothpaste. Brushing immediately following a meal cleans teeth and eliminates halitosis (bad breath).

Fill your child’s lunch box with healthy lunch food and snacks such as lean meats, whole grain breads, low-fat yogurt or cheese, apples, bite-size carrots and baked chips or whole-grain crackers. Besides being packed with nutrients, certain fruits and veggies can even help clean the teeth and gums. Serve sugary sticky snacks in moderation.

If your child chews gum and the school allows it, chewing sugar-free gum for a few minutes in between lunch and afternoon classes can help stimulate saliva to buffer the acid and help dislodge food particles from the mouth. Gum containing the natural sweetener, Xylitol, is a particularly good option since studies have shown that consistent exposure to Xylitol can reduce cavity-causing bacteria in the mouth.

Children with braces should try to brush or rinse well with water after lunch. Children who wear removable retainers should clean them well after each meal and rinse out their mouths.

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