It can be easy to lose sight of when your family’s dental health needs attending to. Between busy days managing a household, work activities and keeping kids on task, the last thing on anyone’s mind is when they should schedule a cleaning. Setting up a dental health schedule for your family can save you the headache of trying to keep track of it all. Whether you plot it out in your bullet journal, set a reminder on your phone’s calendar or have a list written out, a schedule of what needs to happen when to ensure your family’s teeth stay healthy is useful.
For adults, it’s fairly easy to remember to brush at least twice a day and floss at least once, but keeping kids on track with daily oral care can become daunting. The goal is to get to the point where it’s second nature and requires no prompting.
Some parents find a sticker chart to be helpful in getting their kids trained to remember these important tasks. Every time your young child brushes and flosses, add a sticker to their card. After a predetermined number of stickers, kids earn a reward — either something to make brushing and flossing more fun or something they’ve really been wishing for.
Make a habit to get the entire family brushing their teeth for two minutes at a time upon waking up and just before going to bed to keep plaque, biofilm and bacteria at bay.
It’s not a bad idea to take stock of how your mouth is feeling at least once a week. You can do this during your normal brushing time. Take note of any problems or issues you might be experiencing. For example, has your breath been a little more aromatic in the past week? Have you noticed new staining or sensitivities?
A weekly check-in with yourself can help you keep track of any emerging problems and ensure you get timely care for any issues that may arise. Check in with your kids and spouse weekly, too. This is also a good time to discuss any concerns and keep an ongoing dialogue open about oral health and wellness.
While oral cancer can strike anywhere, certain habits put you in a higher risk category. For example, if you haven’t been able to quit smoking, vaping or chewing tobacco, it’s a good idea to perform a self-check for early signs of oral cancer at least monthly. Take a good look into your mouth for any changes in color, cuts or lesions, swellings or growths. If you see anything out of the ordinary, make an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible to have it checked out.
Go toothbrush shopping at least once every three to four months — sooner if your brush’s bristles start to fray or you experience an illness involving your ear, nose or throat. You can check this one off your list by buying brushes or electronic toothbrush heads in bulk for the year all at once or signing up for a subscription box or service that keeps toothbrushes automatically delivered to your home.
Schedule a cleaning and checkup with your dentist’s office once every six months. Some dental offices allow you to schedule an entire year’s at once, while others use scheduling software that only allows you to book an appointment a certain number of months in advance. Go ahead and plan out your family’s dental appointments or when you need to call in and make them in your own schedule, planner or calendar software to have an easy reminder.
How We Can Help
The office of Drs. Krieger and Hur is currently closed due to ongoing concern for the health and safety of our patients and staff, but we look forward to the day when we can see you in our office again. While we aren’t currently available by phone to take requests for appointments, you can reach us via email with questions or requests for appointments looking into the future by clicking here.