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Child Dental Care Tips During the School Year; Brush Teeth Before Breakfast, Healthier Lunches & More

Smile Reef

The school year means schedules that are jam packed full of activities. The school day takes up some of the day, after school activities including sports and enough time to get some homework done and showered before bed. It does not leave a lot of time to put lots of effort into your children’s dental care. The business of the school year sends parents looking for ways to take the stress out of the life. This can often mean cutting corners with brushing, flossing, safety and food prep. These areas then start to suffer. Following are some quick and easy tips on how to continue to put effort into caring for your child’s teeth this school year!

Smile Reef Lists Ways to Help Keep Your Child’s Teeth & Gums Healthy this School Year

Wake Up Early & Brush Teeth Before Breakfast: This is an important step to take for children during school year. You want to be sure that you give your child enough time to wake up and get ready. They need to have time to get in the bathroom and do a good and thorough dental cleaning. Using a good toothbrush and toothpaste in the morning is a great way to remove the bacteria and germs that are lingering on the teeth from the night’s sleep. You also want to make sure kids are aware of the best ways to clean their teeth and how to properly floss. Giving them time to do this without feeling rushed is a great way to ensure that it is done right. It is also important to brush teeth before eating breakfast as brushing too soon after eating can damage the enamel in its weakened state. Consequently, it’s a good idea to brush your teeth before eating an acidic food and to drink a glass of water when you are finished to wash away the acids.
Pack Food for Healthier School Lunches: One area that moms can start to take the easy way out is packing school lunches. There are many options at the store of prepacked and premade options that are quick to toss in a child’s lunch. The problem is that many of these items are full of preservatives as well as packed with sugar. You want to try and substitute the treats and sugary drinks out of their lunch with better options. This can be an easy fix with a water bottle and some fresh fruit and vegetables. The packaged foods that you buy should be checked closely. Something that you don’t know is that the longer the shelf life is a packaged food the worse it can be for your teeth. The food contains lots of starch and that is not good to have on your teeth for some time. The starch sticks to your child’s teeth and that can be a perfect area for bacteria to grow causing cavities. Try harder to replace these packaged foods with fresh things that you can get at your local grocer.

Pediatric Dentistry

Smile Reef offers dental exams and pediatric dental care. Contact us to learn more today!

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Finding an Autism & Special Needs Dentist for Your Autistic Child; Management & Comfort Tips

Smile Reef

Most parents of autistic children know that these special kids can react differently to the senses of strangers putting their hands their mouth, the strange sounds and tastes, in addition to bright lights, and occasional pain they are already sensitive to on top of the common fears of the dentist that many children share. Needless to say, the experience can be traumatic for both parents and autistic kids. With that in mind, we at Smile Reef would like to discuss some tips and suggestions that can help make the experience less traumatizing for you both.

Dentist for Autistic Child Near Me

First things first, not all dentists are comfortable, prepared, or trained to treat children with autism. Most pediatric dentists are more likely, but even then, it is best to call ahead and talk to the office about it. You can ask questions such as:
- Do you treat kids with special needs?
- How is children’s anxiety handled?
- Are parents permitted to stay with their children throughout the whole duration of the visit?
- What does the dentist do if a child’s behavior is a challenge?
- Consider their responses carefully and determine the experience they have working with special needs kids, including those with autism. Many pediatric dentists take on the extra training and continued education to work with these special kids. A major red flag, however, to a solution for managing a child’s erratic behavior and anxiety is to strap the child to a “papoose board” to keep them immobile, unless in the event of an EXTREME emergency. It may be temporary fix for the moment, but all it would do is increase the anxiety and melt downs on future dental visits.

Tips for Management & Comfort of Autistic Child in Pediatric Dental Clinic

1) Consider printing some pictures or finding a kids book regarding a trip to the dentist. Explain what goes on at the dentist and what the dentist does for their teeth. Read through the story or relate the pictures you find frequently and bring it with you when you get to the dentist to familiarize your child with the procedure.
2) Invest in some basic dental tools to let your child touch, see, and interact with them before heading to the dentist.
3) Avoid the discomforts and exploit the comforts of your child. For example, some kids detest mint flavored tooth paste and react well with a bubble gum flavored, bring their toothpaste for the dentist team to use to avoid the sensory melt downs.
4) Bring your kid’s tablet or portable device to play their favorite movies and such during the visit. A distraction might be all that is needed to get the visit completed.
5) If you fear that the lights and noises might be an issue, have your child wear sunglasses, headphones or ear plugs.
6) If the dentists allow parents to be with the kids, do not back seat drive or flinch, it will distract the dentist and give your child more anxiety. Let the dentist do their job and if you feel the dentist didn’t handle your child right, simply find a new dentist.

Special Needs Dentristy

These are just a few ideas to help you, your child, and the dentist get through the experience. You know your kid best. If you have any specific, unique questions or requests regarding your child’s individual concerns, always feel welcome to ask the dentist. Smile Reef has the training and experience to work with special needs children including those with autism, and even offer sedation dentistry if that is the best solution for your child. Call our office today to learn more.

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