4949 Westown Pkwy Suite 150
West Des Moines , IA 50266-6716
(515) 225-0066

Back to School time is here!

Congratulations, parents!  The kids are back in school.  This is a great time to tweak your routine to have happy, healthy children this school year.  Here are some of Dr. Diana’s back-to-school tips:

  • Brushing – Get a new toothbrush! Many toothbrushes come with movie characters or fun colors to make brushing fun.  Make sure your child is brushing after breakfast before school and before bed.  Children under the age of six should receive help from an adult and brush “as a team.”  This way, you can ensure that all tooth surfaces are getting scrubbed! 
  • Snacks – Keep it simple and healthy! Children age 2 and over should have only one snack per day.  This helps them be hungry for mealtime and therefore more likely to consume nutritious foods.  Choose fruits, vegetables and dairy for snacks.  Crunchy fruits and veggies like apples, pears, carrots, cucumbers, and celery make great choices.  Try apples and peanut butter or cucumbers and hummus to get some protein as well.  Yogurt and cheese make great snacks too!  Chips, crackers and other crunchy carbohydrates are very popular with children. These snacks are just as bad for teeth as candy!  Especially when consumed a little at a time throughout the day.  Fruit snacks, even when made with real fruit, and granola bars contain a lot of sugar and are sticky, staying on teeth for hours.  Many children that develop cavities eat a lot of these types of snacks. 

  • Drinks – Pick a new water bottle! Kids need to be hydrated and they like picking their own personalized water bottle.  Drinking juice, pop, tea or sports drinks throughout the day is very damaging to teeth and can cause cavities very quickly.  Our doctors recommend only water and white milk to drink with any other beverages to be consumed with a meal and only once a week as a treat! 
  • Safety – Pay attention and supervise sports and play! Many children will participate in sports during school time.  Make sure to supervise children when they are exercising and playing sports.  Dental trauma can happen very quickly and the best way to prevent it is the regular use of mouthguards.  “Boil and bite” mouthguards are inexpensive and available at HyVee, Target, Walmart, etc.  This type of mouthguard is great for kids that are still losing teeth as their bite can change frequently.  Custom fabricated mouthguards can be made for children that have all their permanent teeth.  Ask Dr. Matt or Dr. Diana if you are interested in a custom mouthguard for your young athlete!  Amateur athletes are the most likely to injure themselves.  If your child should have a dental accident, call our office so that we may assess the situation and guide you. 

Don’t forget to schedule your back to school dental cleaning and check-up!  Call us at 515-225-0066.  

Dental screenings are required by the state of Iowa for children entering kindergarten and ninth grade.  All children should be seen regularly by a dentist.

Our patient, Marley, with Dr. Diana after her cavity-free check-up today! Great job, Marley!