Talk to a customer service agent

Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-5 p.m. ET

Agent Straight-Talk




Dean George is the Marketing Specialist and Content Creator for Dental Insurance
Store and its social media channels. He is a regular contributor to Agent Straight Talk, the
only consumer blog explaining the ins, outs and in-betweens of dental insurance and
discount dental plans. READ MORE

Keep up with our authors and the latest dentistry chatter here:

Email Me Email:
Subscribe in a reader

Goodbye Summer, Hello Mr. Toothbrush

Aug 06, 2015

By Dean George

Someone contact rocker Alice Cooper to tell him to update 1972’s classic hit, “School’s Out for Summer.” With many schools across the country starting this week, that’s no longer the case.

Can you believe that a new school year is underway and it’s only August 6? If school starts any earlier fall classes will begin the Monday after spring break. Kids attending summer school won’t know if they’re coming or going, and high school football games will kick off Memorial Day weekend.

As previously mentioned in both Agent Straight-Talk and Dental Wire, kids often take a summer break from good oral hygiene habits when not in school. I mean, it’s hard for them to brush their teeth after breakfast if they sleep until noon.

Also, summertime often means parents are more lenient so kids often drink more sodas, eat more sticky candy and consume more starchy foods than a starving man working in an Ore-Ida® factory.

Kids also have more free time during the summer than the school year. Unless they are thinking of attending dental school, brushing their teeth is as much a priority as making their bed or mowing the yard.

Nevertheless, when summer ends and the school year begins, the days of permissive parenting and unlimited popsicles, sodas and ice cream has to take a back seat to the front burner reality of earlier bedtimes, better eating habits and regular routines like brushing their teeth every morning and night.

Below are a few pointers to get your mini-me’s back on the straight and narrow road of good oral hygiene.

Make Brushing Fun There are apps for everything these days, including ones to time how long we brush while entertaining us with popular music. Toothbrushes also come in a range of colors and styles, and allowing children to pick their own toothbrush and toothpaste flavor helps engage them in making brushing day and night a regular habit. Me, I’m still looking for the coffee-flavored toothpaste I read about last year. Figure a tube of that would be cheaper than my Starbucks™ routine.

Don’t Forget to Rinse! In the midst of the brush rush, don’t forget to have your future Rhodes Scholar take a minute or two to swish some mouth rinse over their pearlies. Doing this helps coat teeth and gums with a little extra fluoride protection, and who doesn’t like to start their day with a mouth feeling minty fresh? If they would have had fun flavors like bubble gum, grape and berry blast when I was growing up I’d have been first in my class in rinsing and spitting.

Lunch Bunch Eating healthy is an acquired habit like brushing twice a day for two minutes each time. Today’s school year may be different than it was back in the day when I walked to school (five miles uphill to and from school in the Arctic tundra and scorching desert sand), but this much is still true: hot school lunches have always had a history of mystery.

Whether your child likes guessing games involving “what food am I?” and trading their mystery hash for something recognizable, or packing a lunch prepared and inspected by the Department of Mom, healthy meals and snacks are vital to maintain healthy teeth. String cheese, fruits and nuts are excellent snacks (beware of lunch neighbors with peanut allergies) and white milk or water are healthy drink chasers.

 Mouth Guards are A+ Protection If your child plays sports, whether it is contact sports like football and wrestling or non-contact sports like gymnastics and swimming, invest in a custom-fit mouth guard for every practice or game. As previously reported in this space, custom fit mouth guards are recommended by most dentists, and a dentist can help design and fit a mouth guard based on the type of sport being played, your child’s age and whether your child is undergoing orthodontic treatment.

H²O is the Way to Go! Drinking fresh water to stay hydrated may not have the marketing clout of sports and energy drinks, but no drink is better to flush out food acids and the bacteria which accumulate on teeth throughout the day.

Sugar in food and drinks is almost plentiful as the air we breathe; it’s everywhere. In fact, I almost had a head on collision with a chocolate donut on the way to work today. But remember – it’s not the quantity of sugar we ingest that erodes tooth enamel, but rather how long that sugar clings to our teeth.  Rinsing your mouth regularly and choosing to drink water with meals over less healthy drinks is the best way to wash away the clingy sugar and bacteria.

Last but not least, there’s that little matter of regular dental visits. Having kids see their parents visit the dentist twice a year not only sets a good example, but the earlier kids get into the habit of seeing a dentist regularly, the less stressful those visits become and the more it becomes part of their regular oral health routine.

If you would like a little friendly schooling about the dental plans available in your area, click here. Thanks for reading Agent Straight-Talk, and you can go to the head of the class if you take a moment to follow us on FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+, and LinkedIn.

Photo source:

Copyright 2015, Bloom Insurance Agency, LLC

Recent Posts

Get a free quote on a dental plan.

It's fast, easy and secure.

Buyer's Guide

4 Tips to Save the Most Money

1. Preventive Care

Make sure you’re taking advantage of regular periodic preventive checkups based on your dentist’s recommendation. Those diagnostic procedures, cleanings and scalings, etc., will prevent small problems from developing into bigger, more expensive and harder to treat problems later...

read more »

Dental Wire

Help for Young Dentists

June 4, 2020

The one constant during the COVID pandemic has been uncertainty, and that anxiety has been especially acute among dentists just beginning their careers.

“Newbie” dentists have been especially vulnerable to the shutdown due to student debt and the lack of resources available to those dentists as compared to those with returning patients and a few years of practical experience. 

What two oral health companies are doing to help.

Read More »


Site Navigation