It’s that time of the year again, back to school. As children begin hitting the books and learning fun new information, they should also have a strong grounding in dental education. This article will give you, teachers and parents, a few good tips to pass on to your children as they begin a new school year.

1.) A trip to the dentist should become part of your back to school routine. When you are scheduling back to school physicals or other doctor appointments, include a trip to the dentist for a routine cleaning, allowing your child’s mouth to have a clean, fresh start to the school year as well.

2.) Let your children pick their own toothbrush and toothpaste.By letting them pick, your children will start their dental routine excited about brushing. However, make sure that these products are certified by the ADA.

3.) Soft-bristled brushes are the best and can clean teeth without causing unnecessary irritation to the gums. Be sure that when you have smaller children, make sure the size and shape of the toothbrush is comfortable for your child’s mouth.

4.) Replace a toothbrush every three to four months, or sooner if the bristles are frayed. Additionally, store a few extra toothbrushes on hand. As we all know, back to school also means an increase in the amount of germs your children bring home. If your child becomes sick, replace their toothbrush immediately to quit spreading the bacteria or virus.

5.) Make sure your children learn how to brush their tongue, which helps to remove extra tooth-decaying bacteria.

6.) Try to make brushing fun! Sometimes playing a game like “Simon Says” while brushing makes brushing extra fun for children of all ages and helps to emphasize proper technique.

7.) Reward your children for good dental habits. But, don’t reward them with food that will damage their teeth like juices and sugars.

8.) Give your children healthy snacks that are good for their teeth too! Good examples include apples, celery, carrots, and calcium rich foods like milk and cheese.

9.) As a parent, know what to do in case of a dental emergency. Additionally, have your children fitted for a dental mouth guard to help protect their teeth while they are being physically active.

10.) Consider dental sealants to help keep your children’s teeth strong and less likely to have cavities. Teeth naturally have grooves where bacteria can hide and begin to rot the tooth’s surface, causing a cavity. Sealants help to protect those grooves, keeping the bacteria from damaging teeth.

These are just a few tips to help keep your children’s teeth healthy and strong as they being a new school year.

Dr. Jon Frankel is a general and cosmetic dentist in Toledo, Ohio. He enjoys helping children learn proper dental education and watching them grow throughout childhood into adulthood. For more information about Dr. Frankel, his practice, and tips for children, please visit his website at, or “like” him on Facebook at

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