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Now that the school year has officially begun, students will be focused on sports, studying and socializing. However, dental experts are warning parents to help their kids pay attention to something just as important: their teeth.

In order to help them keep their pearly whites strong all year long, parents should tell their teenagers to:

Avoid too much candy or soda – Many schools these days have vending machines that dispense delicious treats and drinks. However, steady consumption of these sugar-rich delights can, over time, wear down enamel and increase the risk of periodontitis and gum disease. Additionally, too much sugar has been linked to decreased performance and retention skills.

Brush before after school activities – Whether its the varsity football team or the spring musical, some extracurricular clubs and groups can keep students after school until the early evening. This means that many teenagers don’t get a chance to brush between the morning and before bed, during which time bacteria in the mouth develop and grow. Parents should suggest to their kids that they bring a travel-sized bottle of toothpaste and a toothbrush to use before practice.

Make time for dental care – A potentially big challenge for parents is to convince their teenaged children that oral hygiene should be an important part of their daily routine. One method for successfully so could be to remind them of the social benefits of brushing and flossing regularly, such as the fact that nobody wants to hang out or go on a date with someone who has exceedingly bad breath.

In addition to taking good care of their teeth at home, teenagers should visit their dental care provider to receive oral care from an accredited dentist in Raleigh, NC.

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