Dr. Gerald V. Cerdan

Back to School Oral Health Tips

It’s hard to believe August is already here. Where has summer gone? With family vacations and beach days behind us, it’s time to start preparing for the upcoming school year. Outside of the new backpacks, shiny binders, and endless notebooks, there are other important items you need to prioritize before sending your kids back to school.

One of the biggest items on that to-do list should be taking care of oral hygiene. There are a few different ways you can do this as the school year approaches. For one, start the school year right with a dental cleaning and exam. If it has been a few months, consider these options to not only ensure your child’s teeth are nice and clean for picture day, but to catch or prevent cavities or other oral health issues before they become bigger problems. These treatments are easy ways to stop cavities and can even improve your child’s performance at school. Cavities, gum problems, and other oral health issues can lead to multiple missed school days or after school dentist visits. 


Next, pick the right snacks! This is applicable year-round, but especially after a summer of less regimented school meals. Getting back on a healthy snack track for school is necessary. Swap out sugary lunchbox snacks with healthy alternatives. Instead of chips or crackers, try fruits. Salty snacks may seem healthy because they don’t contain sugar, but simple starches can be just as bad. Avoid candies and granola bars as well, offering crunchy snacks like celery sticks, baby carrots, and cubes of cheddar cheese are better for your overall oral health. Don’t forget about your drinks, water should be considered over soda and sugary juice or fruit punch.


Finally, practice proper oral hygiene! It can be easy to lose track of your normal routines over summer, but now is the time to get back to practicing proper brushing and flossing techniques. To keep their mouths healthy, kids need to brush twice a day for two minutes at a time. They should also floss every day, preferably after dinner.

This column is sponsored by Winter Haven Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, and the opinions expressed herein may not reflect those of CFHN or of its advertisers.

BIO: Dr. Gerald V. Cerdan has been practicing dentistry in Winter Haven since 2007. He is a member of the Academy of General Dentistry, the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, the Florida Dental Association, the American Dental Association, the Spear Education, and the Polk County Dental Association. e team at Winter Haven Family & Cosmetic Dentistry is committed to providing high-quality care for all their patients, and Dr. Cerdan is skilled in using cutting-edge technologies to give patients beautiful smiles they can be proud of. To schedule an appointment, visit WinterHavenFamilyDentistry.com or call 863-293-1108.

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