School is right around the corner. And that means preparing your youngster for class, buying new books and making sure he or she looks presentable – that includes oral hygiene. No one wants to show up on the first day with bad breath, so check out these simple back-to-school tips.
1. Swap toothbrushes
The start of school is a great time to for your child to ditch his or her old, summer-scuffed toothbrush for a new one. Dentists recommend getting a new toothbrush every two to three months. Otherwise, bad bacteria and food particles can cause microbes to grow on bristles and handles. If your kid has an electric toothbrush, swap heads – and make sure they clean the handle, too.
2. Instill brushing and flossing into their routine
In the morning routine, your kids can start the day off right by brushing and flossing their teeth. Scrubbing your chompers will get rid of morning breath while flossing can detach food debris from those hard-to-reach places. Everyone’s supposed to brush their teeth for two minutes, twice a day. If 120 seconds feels like an eternity to your little one, tell them to hum their favorite song while brushing – whether it’s Beyonce, Justin Timberlake or Sam Smith, it’ll likely get them to clean a little bit longer.
Don’t forget a nighttime scrub! Dental experts say brushing habits that children develop between the ages of 4 to 14 affect the way they’ll brush for the rest of their lives.
3. Invest in mouthwash
Say goodbye to bad breath with alcohol-free mouthwash. Ingredients in mouthwash bind to the surface of germs and cause them to burst, which helps reduce buildup on teeth and gums. Avoid mouthwash that contains alcohol, as it actually dries out the mouth, which can lead to stinky breath.
4. Eat a balanced breakfast
We hear that phrase a lot in cereal commercials – “a balanced breakfast.” Yet most people skip the fruits and head straight for the box of sugary cereal. A healthy morning meal contains a mix of complex carbohydrates and protein to fuel your child until lunch. You can pair more nutritious whole-grain breakfast cereals or whole-wheat toast with a protein source such as milk, yogurt, eggs, peanut butter or cheese. Add an apple, orange or banana to the mix and your child will have a truly balanced meal. (more…)