One of our favorite things about a new school year is that it is a time of new beginnings and fresh starts! As you gear up for the coming school year, you are probably focused on purchasing school supplies, scheduling immunizations, picking out the perfect first-day-of-school outfits, and planning healthy lunches for your family.
However, as you head back to school, don’t forget that the launch of a new school year is also an excellent time to schedule a routine dental check-up for your child.
In this post, we discuss the importance of scheduling a back-to-school dental checkup, what you can expect at your appointment, and tips and tricks for a successful trip to your pediatric dentist!
The importance of a back-to-school dental check up
You may not think a dental appointment is a necessary part of your back-to-school routine. However, according to the American Dental Association, “A dental examination is as important as booster shots, and should be a regular part of back-to-school preparations.”
In fact, ensuring your child’s dental health is on track is so critical that many states now require dental exams before entering certain grades. For instance, in Illinois children going into kindergarten, second grade, and sixth grade are required to have either had a dental exam at the end of the year or prove that they have an appointment on the books.
Studies show that 50 percent of children between the ages of five and nine have either a cavity or filling, and these dental problems can lead to trouble eating, concentrating, speaking, and even missed school. Because of this, ensuring your child’s dental health is taken care of is critical to their overall health as well as school performance.
What to expect at your appointment
If we’ve convinced you that it’s time to call your pediatric dentist and schedule an appointment before the school year gets fully underway, you may be wondering what you can expect from your back-to-school dental checkup.
Typically, a routine pediatric dental appointment will include:
- Going over your child’s medical and dental history
- An examination of your child’s teeth, gums, oral tissue, and jaw
- A standard tooth cleaning
- A fluoride treatment
How to prepare for a positive trip to your pediatric dentist
One of the best ways to guarantee that your child (and you!) has a positive experience at their back-to-school dental checkup is to plan ahead. Below are a few things you can do to prepare for a fun and stress-free trip to the dentist.
Make sure your kid is brushing and flossing regularly
Helping your child establish regular brushing and flossing habits will set them up for success at their regular dental appointments. This will not only get them comfortable with dental care but will also decrease their chance of cavities and tooth decay, which can require additional appointments and procedures.
Schedule your appointment wisely
Another key to a successful dental appointment is scheduling your child’s appointment at an ideal time. For example, if your child has a regular nap schedule don’t schedule the appointment during nap time, which can lead to tears and tantrums. Or, if your child is in school, don’t plan a dental appointment after a long day of tests and sports.
Keep calm and carry on
Believe it or not, your children can pick up on your nerves and anxiety. Because of this, it is important to remain calm and collected during the dental exam, which will help keep your child from becoming nervous.
If you are looking for a pediatric dentist in Chattanooga as you head back to school this season, our team is here to help get you ready for another successful school year!