Many children – of all ages – love the summertime as it’s filled with no schoolwork and lots of fun. It’s tough for children to see the summertime come and go, but it can be very exciting to see many of your friends in school again that you haven’t seen in awhile. For college students, it’s back into the dormitories where we experience life on our own – troubled by late nights spent studying for exams or of course, partying.

Far too often, we get caught up in our own lives so much that we overlook some of the routine things that we take for granted such as brushing and flossing your teeth! Leave it to a dentist to mention that fact, right?

Whether it’s a college student or a child, we may become stressed for a variety of reasons. When we’re stressed we’re more likely to engage in habits that aren’t necessarily the wisest or healthiest of choices. These choices may include grinding our teeth, drinking more soda (or alcohol), skipping on oral hygiene, smoking cigarettes – you get the idea. We use these “outlets” as a way to put a smile on our face, or make us more content. It’s quite ironic because while these may put a smile on your face, they can also ruin that smile by harming your oral health.

To make things easier for you, your Newport Beach Dentist has compiled a small checklist that we recommend following as a way to kick start your oral hygiene for the school year.

Schedule your twice a year dental cleaning.

Believe it or not, many students and parents often forget to schedule their dental cleanings. It comes down to outright forgetting to as many parents and students feel swamped when the school year as they make a mad dash to prepare themselves. A dental cleaning at the beginning of the school year is a great way to remove any of the built-up plaque and tartar that may have resulted during the summertime. It also helps prepare you for the upcoming holidays.

Purchase a custom-fit mouth guard for sporting activities.

Many students and children alike enjoy participating in sports teams or sporting activities during the school year for a variety of reasons. To protect your teeth, we recommend investing in a custom fit sports guard that is comfortable to wear. Don’t panic if you have braces, because special mouth guards can be crafted for those who wear orthodontics.

Purchase a new toothbrush.

Chances are, you haven’t replaced your toothbrush in awhile. It’s good habit to replace your toothbrush because bacteria will form on them after a few months of time. The new school year is a great opportunity to replace your toothbrush with a new, soft-bristled one. We recommend soft because it’s much easier on your gums. Hard toothbrushes may result in receding gums.

For parents: remind your children of healthy oral hygiene practices.

Children can be very bad at organizing, so it’s important to remind your children not to forget about brushing ad flossing their teeth every morning and night. We also encourage parents to avoid sugary lunches (i.e. peanut butter and jelly), as sugar is what bacteria in our mouths feed off of – leading to more dental problems such as cavities.

Follow our advice and the topic of oral hygiene will be one less thing off of your shoulders this coming school year. Best of luck to you as your progress through your studies!