With the school year just over, the last thing you’re probably thinking about is going back to school. But before you abandon notebooks and No. 2 pencils for swimsuits and sunglasses, check this one back-to-school item off your to-do list: Get your kids’ dental appointments scheduled for the summer. Many states require children to have a dental screening before starting school in the fall. You may want to check with your school district to see if your child will need one. Even if your state or school district doesn’t officially require an exam, it’s good to get one on the books if your child is overdue. Regular dental visits can help children avoid cavities, they give your dentist a chance to provide preventive treatment such as sealants and fluoride and they help kids establish a good relationship with the dentist and hygienist. And, when your child goes to the dentist, it’s not strictly a dental screening—more than 120 diseases have symptoms that appear in the mouth, which dentists are trained to identify.
Whether a dental visit is a school requirement or just something on your personal to-do list, if you wait until July to schedule appointments, it may be hard to get dates and times that are convenient for your schedule before school starts. Get appointments scheduled now, and you’ll have one less thing to stress about at the end of summer.