Back to school season is the start of a new chapter, and your kids are probably equipped with all the school supplies, clothes and sports equipment that they need to succeed. But, are they equipped with the right tools to maintain healthy teeth? This time of year is a great opportunity to check in on your child’s overall dental health.

This checklist can help your child stay on the right track, and get them ready for their perfect Picture Day smile.

Set them up with a new toothbrush and fluoridated toothpaste
These are definitely on our list of back-to-school essentials. Most dentists recommend replacing your child’s toothbrush every three to four months, or every time report cards come out if you forget to keep track. Toss out the toothbrushes your kids have been using all summer and get them brushing twice a day with brand new bristles. Fluoride toothpaste is also great way to protect the teeth from decay and cavities.

Cut down on sugary snacks and drinks at home
This can be a tough one. Most kids love snacking on sugary treats between meals and washing them down with a high-sugar soda or fruit drink. But, too much sugar make the risk of cavities much greater, and can do harmful long-term damage to your kids’ teeth. Fresh fruit is always a good option as an after-school snack. Be aware of the sugar content in your family’s favourite fruit juices, as well as the packaged snacks you may pack in their lunch. Instead, consider nuts, veggies or cheese as snacking alternatives.

Get them a properly fitted sports mouthguard
For any active kid, having a custom fitted mouthguard is just as necessary as any other protective equipment. Accidents happen, whether your child plays contact sports, such as basketball or hockey, non-contact sports like gymnastics, or recreational sports like rollerblading. A mouthguard, specifically one that fits comfortably to the unique structure of your child’s mouth, will protect their teeth, tongue and soft tissues from injury and nerve damage. Give us a call to arrange a custom fitting for your child’s sports mouthguard.

Schedule a check-up
Most importantly, getting the kids to the dentist twice a year is important for treating and detecting dental problems. Regular checkups are a chance to get your kids started on important habits for healthy teeth, and can prevent costly and time-consuming dental issues down the line.