As summer comes to a close and the scent of freshly sharpened pencils fills the air, parents and children alike prepare for the much-anticipated return to school. Dr. Mandeep Johal, a functional dentist and a devoted parent herself, recognizes the significance of this transitional period. Beyond the hustle of buying school supplies and new clothes, there lies a crucial aspect of preparation that often goes unnoticed – the dental check-up.
In this blog, we dive into valuable tips for families embarking on the back-to-school journey. With a keen focus on routine, healthy habits, and the often-overlooked connection between oral health and overall immunity, Dr. Johal sheds light on how a dental check-up can set the foundation for a successful school year and a lifetime of well-being.
The Power of Routine
As children transition from the carefree days of summer to the structured school schedule, establishing a solid routine becomes imperative. Dr. Johal emphasizes that routines are not only beneficial for academic success but also for overall health. “Children thrive on consistency,” Dr. Johal affirms, “and a well-structured routine helps them get to bed on time and make healthier food choices.” With two energetic boys of her own, aged 8 and 10, Dr. Johal understands the challenges parents face in maintaining routines. However, she believes that a dental check-up before school starts can be a pivotal step in kickstarting a positive routine that extends beyond dental care.
The Pre-School Dental Check-Up
“Think of a dental check-up as a cornerstone of your child’s back-to-school readiness,” suggests Dr. Johal. Beyond the well known, surface-level oral hygiene practices of brushing and flossing, a comprehensive dental examination can uncover potential issues that may impact a child’s overall health. “Our oral health is intimately connected to our overall well-being,” Dr. Johal explains. During a dental check-up, Dr. Johal reviews with her patients and their parents the significance of eating well, quality sleep, and the often-overlooked importance of proper breathing techniques and how they are pillars to strong immunity and a healthy life-style.
Healthy Eating Habits
Proper nutrition lays the foundation for a child’s growth and development. Dr. Johal encourages parents to make informed choices about their children’s diet. “Limiting sugary snacks and beverages can significantly reduce the risk of cavities,” she advises. Dr. Johal suggests opting for whole foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins, which promote oral health while fueling the body for a successful school day.
Quality Sleep for Optimal Performance
The importance of sleep for children cannot be understated. Dr. Johal stresses that adequate sleep not only enhances cognitive function but also supports a healthy immune system. “During sleep, the body undergoes crucial repair and rejuvenation processes,” she explains. Dr. Johal recommends establishing a bedtime routine that promotes relaxation and ensures the recommended hours of sleep for each age group. A well-rested child is better equipped to tackle the challenges of school and maintain optimal oral health.
Breathing Techniques and Immunity
Dr. Johal goes beyond traditional dental advice by highlighting the connection between proper breathing techniques and overall immunity. Citing a study conducted in Northern Italy on preschool children, she emphasizes the importance of nasal saline irrigation in treating upper respiratory issues. “Nasal breathing contributes to a healthier oral environment and supports the body’s immune response,” Dr. Johal explains. She encourages parents to be mindful of their children’s breathing patterns and to seek professional guidance if concerns arise.
Beyond the standard back-to-school preparations, a dental check-up emerges as a cornerstone of holistic and whole body well-being. With her unique perspective as a functional dentist and a dedicated parent, Dr. Johal highlights the power of routine, healthy eating habits, quality sleep, and proper breathing techniques. Through a lens that focuses on both oral health and overall immunity, Dr. Johal inspires families to embrace the new school year with confidence, vitality, and radiant smiles!
If you want to learn more, please check out the recent What She Said podcast episode with Candance Sampson, where Dr. Johal dives deeper into back to school tips!