With a few crisp nights and long yellow roadblocks-on-wheels scattered through the streets each morning as evidence, the back-to-school season is well upon us! As the kids are settling back into their routines after having the summer to sleep in, stay up late, and eat some ice cream by the poolside, now is the ideal time to get back to any good habits that may have slipped away, or start new habits that you’ve been wanting to implement.

Brushing: Did you know, before bed is the most important time to brush. Cavities grow best overnight due to reduced salivary flow and other factors, so clearing away any substrate (leftover food particles) will leave oral bacteria with nothing to feast on while you sleep. A quick morning brushing before running out the door is ideal for getting to school with fresh breath and an additional fluoride exposure too!

Flossing: A stumbling block for many and a once-frustrating habit, but “floss pickers” have revolutionized this process. They make it quicker and easier for kids and grown-ups alike, and they are essentially as effective as regular floss. Just make sure the string stays tight. They also come in a variety of string thicknesses, so find a brand that works well with your teeth!

Snacking: Pack a healthy lunch – juice and flavored milk are the most worrisome items from a dental standpoint! Sticky snacks like fruit roll ups and gummies are just as dangerous. Whole fruit, veggies with dip, dairy (think cheese stick or some yogurts), and water are best for keeping happy and healthy teeth!

We recommend choosing one new habit to work on at a time. Each of these should only add a few minutes or small modification to the daily routine or weekly shopping list. New habits take on average 30 days to stick.

While back to school can be a busy time, the holiday season can be arguably even busier, so don’t forget to set up your cleaning visit for the second half of the year if you haven’t already. We wish you a successful and enjoyable school year, and hope to see you soon!