Going Back to School Also Means Going to the Dentist

We all know how important it is to book your kids an appointment at a place like Eriks Dental in Boynton Beach. It’s crucial to make sure their teeth are as healthy as possible, especially when they are getting new adult teeth growing. I’ve got the girls six month dentist appointment hitting right before back to school every year. I like it then because I feel it’s a great way to start the year fresh… new hair cut, physical, clean teeth, new clothes and shoes and of course new school supplies.

Today they were given a great bill of health…I guess the trip I took to the Colgate headquarters during BlogHer in NYC payed off! I’m now on top of replacing tooth brushes and scrubbing really well on the back teeth, which has payed off!

Anyway, my oldest has yet to lose any teeth…she’ll be 7 in December. They did an x-ray today and it looks like her permanent teeth are ready to come through and her baby teeth are not ready to leave anytime soon. This means that they will need to pull out the baby teeth so that the new teeth can glide right into place. I cringed at the thought, but my 7 year old was ready to do it right at that moment. You see, all her friends have been visited by the tooth fairy and she has yet to get paid for her precious teeth, so the thought of having her teeth pulled sounded a bit like this… “Cha-ching!”

Anyway, long story short, I decided to have her wait until after picture day, thanks to a fellow mom that reminded me that picture day was coming up and scheduled her tooth removal till the end of the month.

At the same time, I got an email from Delta Dental about healthy lunch ideas that promote health teeth… perfect timing right!

“Common lunch foods actually contain a shocking amount of sugar,” said Dr. Jed Jacobson, chief science officer and senior vice president at Delta Dental of Michigan. “With small changes, it is surprisingly easy to pack a lunch that is healthier overall and better for your child’s teeth.”

Consider a lunch with a packaged ham, cheese and crackers meal, a small can of diced peaches, fruit snacks, and a juice box. While it seems healthy and balanced, the sugar count is a whopping 62 grams. An average candy bar contains about 25 grams of sugar.

A few substitutes can reduce the sugar count tremendously. Switch to a ham and cheese sandwich on wheat bread and skip the fruit snacks – in addition to high sugar content, their stickiness holds sugars against teeth for prolonged periods. Swap out the juice for a kid-sized sports drink or milk and opt for fresh fruits or vegetables instead of canned. These small changes bring this lunch’s sugar total down to a more tooth-tolerable 19 grams.

For other teeth-friendly substitutes, consider yogurt as a good option for boosting calcium with only 10 grams of sugar. Even better is string cheese, which also offers calcium but with zero grams of sugar. For a special treat, vanilla wafer cookies have less than half the sugar of chocolate, crème-filled cookies. Potato chips, pretzels and cheesy crackers are good options for low-sugar items.

“Check the nutrition labels on the foods you buy to make sure you know what your kids are eating,” Jacobson said. “A healthy and nutritious diet paired with good oral hygiene at home and visits to the dentist can go a long way toward protecting against tooth decay.”

If possible, kids should brush their teeth after lunch at school. Keeping a toothbrush and travel-sized tube of toothpaste in a lunchbox, desk or locker is a convenient way to encourage this healthy habit. If kids can’t brush at school, Jacobson recommends having them rinse their mouths with water or milk after lunch.

Jacobson recommends parents try to avoid packing these high-sugar lunch items:

  • Can of pop (40g)
  • Fig cookies (23g)
  • Chocolate-hazelnut spread (21g)
  • Granola bars (19g)
  • Pudding (17g)

Courtney Lawless

Courtney is the traveling mom! She has 3 girls and is the founder of Detroit Mommies and currently lives in Florida. You can follow her on Twitter @courtneyRVL.

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