Working a Trip to the Dentist into Your Back to School Routine

A bright smile for a new school year

We know that back-to-school is a very busy time for parents.  You have a to-do list a mile long with things like:

  • School supplies.
  • Check-ups and immunizations.
  • Clothes shopping.

Can we add one more thing to that list?  Dental visit!  We promise, we would not suggest it if it were not really important.

Why Schedule a Dental Visit Now?

As you approach the start of a new school year, it is a time for establishing new routines or re-establishing old ones.  It isn’t just back to school.  It is back to scheduled bedtimes and alarm clock wake-ups.  For many, especially little boys, it is back to bathing every day.  It’s back to scheduled mealtimes and (if you did take a little break from diligent oral hygiene) back to brushing and flossing!

Reinforcement

There is no better way to reinforce to your child the necessity of great oral hygiene than with a visit to the dentist at back to school.  Your dentist and dental hygienist will stress to your child the importance of sticking to a consistent schedule to keep his or her mouth healthy!

Your child will receive specific instructions on his or her responsibilities.  The dentist or hygienist will also give you instructions on how you should help your child clean his teeth.  Depending on your child’s age and abilities, you might have to perform some of the oral hygiene tasks (especially flossing) for him.  Back to school is a great time to implement the suggested changes to your oral hygiene routine.

Preventive Strategies

Your dentist and dental hygienist will also recommend preventive measures you can take to stop any dental problems from developing during the school year.  For some children, this means placing protective sealants on their molars.  For others, it means receiving a professional fluoride varnish.  These steps aim to keep you out of the dental office!

Intercepting Potential Problems

This is probably the most important reason your child should see a dentist before school starts.  In children, cavities do not typically cause pain until they are very large.  This means that problems could be present of which you are completely unaware.  By seeing the dentist before school starts, you could intercept a problem before it becomes an emergency.

Dental problems are one of the most common causes of school absences in children.  You can prevent them by having a thorough check-up before school starts.

What to Schedule?

Most people commonly refer to this as a dental check-up.  You need to make sure your child is scheduled to see both the dentist for an evaluation of his mouth and x-rays, and the dental hygienist for a professional teeth cleaning.

Ask the Dentist:

  • Are there any warning signs for potential dental disease?
  • Do you anticipate any dental problems throughout the school year?
  • What preventive treatments could benefit my child?

Ask the Dental Hygienist:

  • What does my child need to do to improve his oral hygiene at home?
  • What do I need to do to help him?
  • Are there any specific techniques we should be using to clean his teeth?
  • Do you recommend a specific toothpaste or mouthwash?

When Should I Schedule the Appointment?

The sooner, the better!

If possible, schedule the appointment before the child starts school.  If you are unable to get it to see the dentist that quickly, consider making an appointment for the first week of school.  Many of our locations offer after-school hours, so your child does not miss any time being away from school.

Scheduling a visit for your child as soon as possible also enables you to plan for any follow-up dental visits, if they are necessary.  If your dentist does intercept dental problems that require treatment, you will need to plan a few more visits into your schedule.  Again, treating these problems sooner rather than later leads to fewer risks for emergencies during the school year.

Ready for a Back to School Visit for Your Child?

Call your nearest Premier Dental of Ohio location today to schedule a visit with our wonderful local dentists and dental hygienists.  We will evaluate your child’s current dental health with a thorough exam and dental x-rays, perform a professional teeth cleaning, and inform you of any concerns we have.  If your child would benefit from any preventive treatments, we can usually perform them at the same visit with no need to schedule a separate appointment!