5 Smart Ways to Promote Healthy Teeth Habits at School

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Going to the dentist is a big deal, and I’ve been working hard to get my two school-aged children to have a motivation for good oral care habits. Thanks to the American Dental Association for sponsoring this post and inspiring smart new habits.

#AD Going to the dentist is a big deal for us, and we also practice good oral hygiene habits at home. How can you extend those lessons to include school? Here are our 5 ways to promote good oral care at school too!

My daughter, Scarlet, actually lost her first tooth while at school.

It was last year in second grade. She came out of school beaming and holding a white tooth necklace around her neck proudly in front of her face. I was so happy I told anyone I could see, “MY DAUGHTER LOST HER TOOTH!” Then she lost her second tooth at school too. She has yet to lose one here! I think there’s something special about losing your tooth at school. You get to go to the nurse’s office where he or she will put your tooth in the prized tooth necklace. My son, Des, is in kindergarten and it’s already happening to his classmates. He has stories! File that under BIG DEAL life experience for kids.

All of that talk and excitement over losing teeth at school actually made me think. Last year, there was an option for Scarlet to get fluoride rinses at school, and for Des to brush his teeth while at preschool. Why not at least promote some, if not several, good oral care habits at school? We already do what we can at home, but the kids are at school for most of their days. Now that it’s National Children’s Dental Health Month and both of my kids are smack in the middle of losing teeth season, it’s timely to teach them about practicing their oral care habits at school. I love that they get excited like I do.

5 Smart Ways to Promote Healthy Teeth Habits at School in Honor of National Children’s Dental Health Month:

1 – Talk to your child’s teacher or principal about making time for your child or the whole class to brush their teeth after lunch. You can also ask local dentists to donate supplies – like brushes, toothpaste, floss. Last year, one of my son’s classmates’ parents – a dentist – came to school to talk about proper dental care. That really sparked the kids’ minds.

2 – Better juice habits start at home, and continue at school. On a home level, you can refrain from sending soda and sugary drinks in your kids’ school lunches and snacks. Bottled water and milk are better options. Another tip is to see if you can get such drinks removed from school vending machines, if they haven’t already been removed. Have better options.

3 – Pack tooth-healthy lunches and snacks for your child. For us, that includes water, some dairy products, lean proteins, nuts, fruits, and of course, plenty of vegetables. It’s not the same as a toothbrush, but some snacks help!

#AD Going to the dentist is a big deal for us, and we also practice good oral hygiene habits at home. How can you extend those lessons to include school? Here are our 5 ways to promote good oral care at school too!

4 – Make sure your child’s school has up-to-date contact info on record. When we fill out our annual start-of-school paperwork, we always make sure to put all relevant dental information as well. We do this with summer camp too. No matter where our kids are, it gives peace of mind to know that their dental needs will be met when we’re not around them.

5 – Be aware. This is a big one for me because I’m more like hyperaware of every nuance in my kids’ lives, and that includes their mouths! My kids run track and play sports. They have after school classes and time with grandparents. When there’s some sort of inevitable tooth falling out or something bothering them, I need to be in the know and make others aware.

As a bonus tip, if your child wears any kind of dental gear that comes in to school with them, have a plan in action for the care and cleanliness of the gear. I specifically remember the fears I had of throwing away my retainer case with my lunch! Luckily it never happened. I used to have a plan to rinse my retainer and retainer case out in the restroom after lunch. My parents had a lunch monitor friend who knew to help me do this when I was younger. As an older child, I remembered on my own.

The thing is, oral health starts at birth because your baby is born with teeth under their gums. Pretty wild in fact! Even though there are two sets under those gums – baby teeth and permanent teeth – baby teeth are AS important to care for as adult teeth. That’s why it’s so important that healthy teeth habits take place throughout the whole day – and not just with brushing morning and night. I find that the American Dental Association has some great resources for promoting healthy teeth habits at home, and at school. To find out why baby teeth matter, click here. I also loved reading about a child’s first dental visit! For the future, it’s beneficial to read about braces. Healthy habits build. And there’s a joy in helping.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of American Dental Association.

Fleece Heart Tic-Tac-Toe Game

Who doesn't love a good Valentine's Day craft? This cute tic-tac-toe game can be made for Valentine's Day Or any day of the year!!! Easy to make and a perfect DIY for kids!!

We have come, I think, to my penultimate Valentine’s Day blog post!

We’ll see how well I stick to that one. Like just today, in fact. Yesterday we had a snow day. It was the perfect school storm – starting around 9:00am and tapering off around 3:00pm. It’s like the snow specifically wanted us to NOT go to school. Ok. Done. We didn’t go to school! Then last night with the freezing rain, sleet, rain, and all around ice rink of a town, we got the call that today would be a 2-hour delay. So I’m losing steam a bit. I can’t lie. Luckily, we kept busy yesterday. And how!

tic-tac-toe

This project is simple. My mom works with fleece and fleece scraps so often. This is easy to make, easy to teach, and easy enough to play. Although I can always tell when I haven’t gotten enough sleep, because the kids beat me fair and square!

Who doesn't love a good Valentine's Day craft? This cute tic-tac-toe game can be made for Valentine's Day Or any day of the year!!! Easy to make and a perfect DIY for kids!!

And I owe you two more Valentine’s Day stories, don’t I? Yes. Yes, I do. This one is a good one. As you may know from my 20 part story, Cassidy and I had a whirlwind, cross-country, summer romance and then broke up for two years. After we had found each other again, we knew pretty soon in that we had to be together, geographically too. It was a big risk and a gamble and MUCH harder than I thought it would be. Like, worlds harder. It was hard also to be away from each other. We tried to see each other at least once a month before I moved out there in April, but that was taxing financially and physically. We sometimes went months without seeing each other. And that was pretty awful until he fulfilled an old dream.

He had always wanted to fly 3,000 miles to surprise me at work, but that got messed up after our terrible breakup. So this was Relationship 2.0 and it was bigger and better than ever. It was a gloomy February day and he called me, from what I thought was California, but then I came in from lunch break at my NJ office and he was in the stairwell! The freakin’ stairwell! Commence hugging/kissing. The ultimate grand gesture. We didn’t have a lot of time, but we made it count.

And no, not by doing crafts. The above photo is just long paragraph filler! haha.. doing crafts with Cassidy. hahahaha! Anyway, the joke is on me, because now we do crafts together all the time. It’s just that we usually do them WITH the kids:

Fleece Heart Tic-Tac-Toe Game

What’s Needed:

6 Pieces Fleece Fabric—9×12 each, assorted colors/patterns
Scissors
Black Marker

Directions:

1 – Cut 3 large hearts out of 3 pieces of the fleece. Reserve a little bit of extra to cut 5 tiny hearts out of each of these colors.
2 – Cut 5 tiny hearts out of each of the other 3 pieces of fleece.
3 – Use the black marker and draw a tic-tac-toe board on each of the 3 large hearts.
4 – Have fun playing endless games of tic-tac-toe!

Have you ever done any sweeping romantic gestures? I want to know!

Who doesn't love a good Valentine's Day craft? This cute tic-tac-toe game can be made for Valentine's Day Or any day of the year!!! Easy to make and a perfect DIY for kids!!