Now that summer has flown by, back-to-school fever is here in full swing! With it comes shopping for school supplies, last minute vacations, loads of ice cream, and yes, dentist appointments. While not all states and provinces mandate annual dental checkups for public school students, most do require it. And I support this mandate, since one of the foundations for good #oralfitness is scheduling that yearly dental appointment for your children. So what better time to pay your child’s dentist a visit then right before they are back at school?

If you’re debating skipping that important check-up, DON’T! Here’s why:

1. Students suffering from toothaches aren’t just at a risk of distraction, they’re at a risk of a lower Grade Point Average (GPA). Toothaches and mouth pain can distract your child from focusing in class, and on their homework. Taking them to the dentist now will prevent that.

2. If you schedule a dentist appointment over the summer, your child’s school schedule won’t be disrupted, should they need further treatment.

3. Though not all states require their public schools to have updated dental records, some schools still require it in order to make sure their students are receiving the best care they can. Have it ready and on hand so your child won’t be delayed in starting school.

4. This appointment gives you, the parent, an opportunity to check on the development of your child’s dental health. It’s also a great time to ask about their baby teeth, sealant treatments, and any other questions you may have for their oral practitioner.

5. If something is wrong with your child’s teeth, or they need to have their wisdom teeth removed, finding out during the summer gives you ample time to schedule a follow up appointment or that much needed surgery.

The back-to-school season is also a great time to reinforce good #oralfitness in your kids. Teaching them to brush their teeth twice a day, floss every day, and packing healthy foods for them to eat at school is a solid foundation that your child can use to build their own #oralfitness routine. Scheduling this dental checkup, too, will teach them that taking care of their teeth is important.

This check-up is also an excellent opportunity to check in with your doctor on dental emergencies. The worst thing you can do for yourself is have a dental emergency on your hands and not have any idea what to do about it. Dental emergencies can include knocking an adult tooth out, or chipping cracking a tooth. Knowing the necessary steps and how to react when they happen can make a huge difference in your child’s smile.

With school right around the corner, now is the best time to bring your kids – and yourself! – in for that dental checkup. So hurry in, so you can greet the start of school with a smile.

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