The first day of the new school year is quickly approaching. Are you ready for the morning rush? Between getting the kids up and ready, preparing them a healthy breakfast, making sure they eat it, and sending them off with lunches in hand, there’s not a minute to waste in the morning routine. Here are 4 tips to help guarantee that brushing is a part of it:
- Brush before or after breakfast. Lots of people like to brush their teeth first thing—it’s nice to start the day with a minty fresh mouth. You can tell your kids it’s time to “wake up their teeth” by brushing. Others, however, wait until breakfast is over so the morning brush can eliminate food particles left in the mouth after eating. (It may be a good thing to wait 30 minutes after your kids have consumed acidic foods, such as orange juice or citrus fruits, before they brush, as the acidity combined with immediate brushing may weaken the tooth enamel.) Whether they decide to brush their teeth before or after breakfast, stick to the routine and it will become an important part of their daily hygiene.
- Floss later. Flossing takes time—something you don’t have the luxury of having on a typical weekday morning. It’s OK to put off their daily floss until the bedtime routine, when the family isn’t feeling so rushed.
- Brush before homework. Every now and then your teenager may wait until the last minute to complete a dreaded math assignment or history hand-out. On those days, she may complain of being too tired to brush her teeth after finishing. The solution? Make sure she brushes before starting.
- Stay true to bedtime. According to the National Sleep Foundation, toddlers aged 1 to 3 years need 12 to 14 hours of sleep in a 24-hour period; preschoolers aged 3 to 5 years typically sleep 11 to 13 hours each night; and school-aged children 5 to 12 years of age need 10 to 11 hours of sleep. Getting these hours helps to ensure healthy mental and physical development.
Sending the little ones off to bed on time is a good sign that you’re on track with the bedtime routine. When the evening schedule is off or running late, parents may try to make up for it by allowing important aspects of the routine, like reading time or tooth brushing, to slip by.
If you struggle to get out the door on time, read Alameda Pediatric Dentistry Office Manager Susan Yee’s tips for Rising, Shining, and Being on Time.
What’s your secret for a hassle-free morning routine? Send a comment below and tell us about it!