As summer winds down, parents and children will begin to prepare for school to start again. Usually, this process involves shopping for clothes, picking up supplies, and scheduling athletic physicals or required immunizations. Often, dental care falls by the wayside. Protecting your child’s healthy smile should be added to the top of your To Do list.

While most doctors, schools districts, and parents see the importance of vaccinating against whooping cough, measles, or chicken pox, few people consider the fact that tooth decay is an infectious disease that has no immunization. Estimates suggest that one-half of kids from five to nine years old have at least one cavity or filling. Chronic dental problems can impact a child’s ability to eat, speak, and even concentrate.

Having a consistent schedule for checkups can ensure that your child’s teeth and gums stay in good condition. Ideally, your child should visit the dentist at least twice a year. Some children may need more frequent visits because of additional concerns.

You can keep your child’s smile looking and feeling great by:

  • Considering dental sealants. These thin, plastic coatings cover the pits and grooves of back teeth, which are more susceptible to decay.
  • Purchasing a mouth guard. Injuries to the face and mouth can cause serious damage, so buy a mouth guard if your child participates in activities such as football, basketball, soccer, skateboarding, or even horseback riding.
  • Replacing old toothbrushes. According to the American Dental Association, you should replace your child’s toothbrush every three to four months and sooner if it starts to wear out.
  • Supervising brushing efforts. Though most kids can brush on their own by six or seven, you may need to inspect their work until they reach about 10 years of age.

Our dental office is located in Sarasota