August. It's hot, summer is nearly over, and your children have already started to mourn their eventual return to school. No matter their age, for your kids, August - despite its length of days, is nearly over the day it begins. School, is indeed, right around the corner. So, for our favorite parents across this great land, here are a few dentistry related tips that will help you and your young ones transition nicely from “play all day” to “work all day!”
Start setting the alarm: Most likely, your alarm clock rings at the same time each day, no matter the season. For your children, though, it may not have rung at all this summer – or, maybe it did, but couldn't be heard because it was buried under a pile of clothes! The start of August is a great time to renew the habit of waking up early once again, and doing so will help you and your kids adjust to their soon-to-be “new” routine. It's also a great time to rebuild brushing habits that may have become lax with all that staying up late, and sleeping in they may have been doing. If you have younger children, why not get them interested in brushing earlier by tossing learning into the mix? Adding “disclosing tablets” that color the teeth in areas where brushing wasn't adequate, can be fun for youngsters, and will have them looking forward to this little bit of dental detective work. For teens, you'll have to try a bit harder, of course, so perhaps a gift of a Water Pik, or simple tongue scraper can highlight the oral care/ fresh breath connection teens care about as they prepare to start mingling once again.
Schedule appointments: Getting your regular cleanings out of the way before school starts, just “makes sense.” Life becomes so busy once school starts, and the last thing you'll find time to do is visit the dentist. This could lead you to wait too long, which can cause undetected cavities to advance, or it could result in you having to schedule an appointment during school hours, which means missed classwork. Neither are good scenarios. Also, if you have a teen with braces, you'll want to schedule an orthodontist appointment a week or two prior to the start of school instead of mere days – after all, there's nothing worse that starting your first week of school with tightened bands that hurt like heck each time you start talking. Such discomfort can also be distracting when trying to learn new material, so schedule early!
Squeeze in a little bit more fun: Going to the dentist isn't always an experience one brags about, but going in to get fitted for a custom mouthguard just might be something that gets your child talking about their last visit. With fall sports just around the corner, and some summer sports winding down, now might be a great time to speak with your dentist about having a custom mouthguard made to protect your child's teeth and jaw from injury. The experience can indeed be fun, and with all of the personalization involved (from colors to team logos), it'll be a good excuse to get your child to the dentist before school gets underway.