Family Dentist in Manhattan

New School Year, New Healthy Habits

September 20, 2023

With every new school year comes a desire for a fresh start with healthy habits. Along with more efficient study methods and healthy school lunches, here are some tips to help your child achieve beautiful and healthy teeth.

Make sure your child brushes after breakfast and before bedtime.

Use a timer. You really have no idea how long 2 minutes actually is till you time it. Consider an electric toothbrush which has an in-built timer. Make brushing a fun game where you pick a fun 2 minute song everyday and brush till the song is over.

For young children, supervise and help them brush the back areas of the mouth. Although I joke that you should help your child brush their teeth till they go to college, in all seriousness it depends on your child. Observe how your child brushes and whether they reach all surfaces. If you see they are missing some spots, help them get those areas or show them how to improve.  Ask us at your next cleaning to demonstrate some useful tips.

Flossing is a habit best taught at a young age. Start with baby steps. Get flossers that are easy to use. Have your child floss their front teeth and work their way backwards to gain the ease of doing it. Be encouraging and maintain the habit of flossing with every brushing session.

Avoid sugary snacks and juices. Dried fruits such as raisins and dates are sticky, high in sugar, and can cause cavities. Juices are packed with sugar even if they are natural. It is much better to drink water or milk without additive sugar as well as snacks such as cheese, almonds, yogurt, vegetables, and fruit.

Visit your dentist for a checkup and a cleaning. Ask about what preventative measures can be done to help protect your child from cavities.

Make sure your child is drinking water from the tap (okay to filter) and not just bottled water which does not contain fluoride. Consider a fluoride rinse after brushing and flossing.

Remember that healthy routines that start at a young age become habits that stick to us as adults.  

Good habits formed at youth make all the difference. - Aristotle