It’s back to school time for the kids of Dubai.  Do you have any good tips to help parents get them ready for the new year?

Yes, I do indeed.  Thank you for asking.

The new school year is an excellent time to re-assess your child’s oral health and make sure you are on track for the year.

*Most importantly you need to visit your dentist.  This is a great time to ask about sealants and fluoride treatments and get a hygiene cleaning to remove plaque and tartar – because we all know kids consume more snacks and sweets when on holiday.  Your dentist can also help to evaluate any orthodontic needs that your child may have in future.

*Encourage a regular brushing and flossing routine.  You can make it more interesting for kids by providing them with toothbrushes and floss holders that are fun to use. Try playing a silly song along  to make sure they brush for long enough.  Everyone should brush twice per day and floss once per day, before bed-time is best.  You can also set a good example by brushing and flossing with them.

*I also recommend that you talk to your child about healthy snacks and what they would like in their packed lunch.  When you do this together, your child will be part of his/her oral health regime and can start making good choices early before bad eating habits can develop.  Chose water over juice and soda and offer crunchy snacks like celery, carrots and apples over sticky sweets.  Unprocessed cheese is also a great option.

Thank you Dr. Agnès for your helpful information.  Do you have any other tips that you would like to share with us?

The one thing that I always like to remind parents is that children need to get enough sleep.  Sleep helps fight illness and keep children fit and healthy.  Overall health affects oral health and sleep is a very important factor.