Since dentists aren’t as easily accessible right now, it’s essential that you keep your and your child’s teeth healthy. During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, it can be challenging to encourage your child to maintain healthy oral habits.
Learn how to maintain your child’s healthy smile with some simple tricks that even our dentists put into play at their house!
KEEP A SCHEDULE
While your child may feel like they are on vacation, that isn’t the case. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends talking with your child about why they are staying home and why they are not allowed to go to school at the moment. During this conversation, it’s essential to remind them that while they are home, school work still needs to get done.
Additionally, the AAP recommends having your child make their schedule and hanging it somewhere they’ll be able to see it, such as the refrigerator. This schedule could include:
- Morning Routine: Rise & shine! Breakfast and teeth brushing time.
- Classroom Time: Depending on your child’s age, they may have to dedicate time to do school work. Make sure they have a quiet workspace to help them concentrate.
- Snack or Lunch Time: It’s vital that your child still maintains their classroom schedule. If their class does a snack time or lunch, we recommend keeping this in the schedule. Snacks could include fruits, vegetables and small sandwiches. We’ll talk more about dietary habits below!
- Gym/Exercise Time: With smaller children, we understand that it can be difficult to keep them in their seats for a full day of work. That’s why we recommend picking some child-friendly exercises and incorporating those into their schedule.
- Bed Time: Make sure your child goes to bed at a regular hour – that’s crucial to their overall health. Bedtime routines can include an hour of play, bath time and teeth brushing time.
PRACTICE HEALTHY EATING HABITS
As we mentioned above, it’s important to maintain healthy eating habits and help keep your child’s teeth healthy with a routine. Whether it’s breakfast, lunch, dinner or snacks, you should incorporate nutritious foods into your child’s diet. This could include:
- Leafy vegetables and high-fiber foods
These are all spring foods that you can incorporate into your family’s diet. For full descriptions of why these foods are good for your teeth, click here.
According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, there are certain guidelines you should follow during this time, including:
- Washing your hands with water and soap for 20 seconds before preparing food.
- Cleaning surfaces that the food will touch.
- Storing food properly.
MAKE IT A GAME
Brushing teeth can feel like a chore to children, and we understand that. That’s why for smaller children, we recommend making a game out of it. What to Expect offers six-game choices you could pick from, but here are our personal favorites:
- Sing a song: Children should brush their teeth for two minutes. For this game, let your child pick one to two of their favorite songs, depending on length, and play them during teeth brushing time. Don’t hesitate to partake and sing along, too!
- Play dentist: This one is fun! Gather up some toys and set up a “dentists” spot in your bathroom. Let your child practice on the toys and then ask them to do the same to their teeth! Not only is this a fun game, but if your child is afraid of the dentist, it can help them overcome that fear.
HYGIENE TIPS TO REMEMBER
Since information is coming out every day about the transmission of the coronavirus, it can be difficult to truly know what to do when it comes to maintaining proper dental hygiene.
To maintain proper hygiene, the American Dental Association recommends:
- Never share a toothbrush with anyone.
- Avoid storing toothbrushes next to each other during this time.
- Store toothbrushes in an upright position.
- Wash hands before flossing, and again after flossing.
- Refrain from touching the toothpaste tip to the toothbrush.
COVID-19 RESPONSE AT THE LANDING DENTAL SPA
At The Landing Dental Spa, our goal is to protect our staff and our patients. That is why, effective March 18, 2020, we began to reschedule elective dental cleaning and procedures. We’ll only continue to see emergency dental appointments at a specific time on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 AM to 2 PM.
For now, if you’re experiencing a dental emergency that involves severe pain or signs of infection like swelling, fever, or pain, please call our office and leave a message on our emergency line. We’ll give you a call to schedule a time for assessment and proper treatment.
We truly appreciate your understanding during this period of uncertainty and hope all of our patients remain safe and well. We hope to see everyone soon, and until then, please let us know if you have any questions about keeping your child’s teeth healthy during this time!