Tips for the Back-to-School Dental Checkup

Published: July 21, 2021

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The American Dental Association urges parents to make the back-to-school dental checkup as early as possible, as the late August rush may make it hard to get in.  Practicing good dental hygiene habits at home (twice a day brushing and once a day flossing) can help make the checkup a cavity-free one.(1)

Here are some other tips:

  • Time of day can make or break an appointment. For young children who are accustomed to a nap, don’t schedule during that time. For older children, try to avoid scheduling the appointment after a day at camp or playing sports.
  • Have your child have a light meal before the appointment. Being hungry can add to discomfort.
  • Check your own worries at the door. “Kids pick up on parents’ anxiety.” If your child has questions about a procedure, encourage them to talk to the dentist.
  • Keep calm if your child won’t cooperate. It’s not a good idea to take your child and try a visit later. “Give the dentist every opportunity to turn the visit around.”
  • Pick up a card or two on your way out. Accidents can happen at a sports camp or in gym class. Teachers and coaches should have medical contact information available, including the dentist’s phone number.(1)

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(1) 8 Secrets to a Successful Back-to-School Dental Checkup, The American Dental Association,