Health Tip: Schedule a Back-to-School Dental Exam

(HealthDay News) --A dental cleaning and exam is an important part of the back-to-school preparation that your child shouldn't miss.

Here's how to make it great, courtesy of the American Dental Association:

  • Schedule the visit ahead of time, such as before school lets out in the spring, to avoid the late summer rush.
  • Teach kids to brush teeth at least twice per day and floss once, providing age-appropriate guidance and supervision. Make sure you're helping kids age 6 and under.
  • Don't schedule the checkup for a time when your little one is tired and should be napping. For older kids, don't tack it onto the end of a long, exhausting day.
  • If you have more than one child getting a checkup, let your most experienced child go first so the others can watch.
  • Make sure your child has a very light snack (too much can lead to gagging) before the appointment. Remember to brush teeth after eating.
  • Parents, make sure that you don't feel anxious. If your child has questions, encourage him to ask the dentist. If your child is having a hard time, stay calm and work with the dentist to get through it.

-- Diana Kohnle

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