12 Sep Bedtime, books and brushing!
If your kids have been in school for a few weeks, you may have them back on a normal bedtime schedule after a summer of staying up late and sleeping in. If not, nightly rituals can help with this transition, establishing expectations for kids and providing them with the tools to help them fall asleep quickly and stay asleep, so they can perform better in the classroom.
To ensure your child is able to fall asleep earlier in the evening, avoid caffeinated beverages, soda and snacks high in sugar. Not only are they bad for your children’s health and young teeth, they also make the bedtime transition even more difficult. We also recommend limiting screen time for your children as “bedtime” approaches. Intense television shows and video games can stimulate your children and research has shown that the “blue light” from cell phones, iPads and other devices can interfere with the brain’s ability to “shut down” for the night.
Instead, use relaxing activities such a soothing bath or a nightly story as part of their nighttime ritual. Bedtime is the ideal time for reading and bonding with your child after a long day. And, most schools require elementary aged students to “log” their daily reading by pages or by a specific amount of time. So why not wind down with a good book? We love these picture books that encourage good oral health habits in children. Be sure to check them out, especially if brushing and flossing are a struggle at home. All are available on Amazon.
1. Brush, Brush Brush, by Alicia Padron
2. Open Wide: Tooth School Inside, by Laurie Keller
3. Melvin the Magnificent Molar, by Lara Jana
4. Pony Brushes his Teeth, by Michael Dahl
5. Clarabella’s Teeth, by An Vrombaut
6. The Tooth Book, by Dr. Seuss
7. Have You Ever Seen a Moose Brushing his Teeth? by Jamie McClaine & April Goodman Willy
8. The Tooth Book: A Guide to Healthy Teeth and Gums, by Edward Miller
9. Brush Your Teeth Please (pop-up), by Leslie McGuire
10. I know Why I Brush My Teeth, by Kate Rowan
So remember to set a nightly ritual, such as bath, brush, then into bed to cuddle and read a book. I find with my own children that even if they are dragging to brush their teeth at night time, the thought of the final step of reading and cuddling together gets them to brush more easily. We wish all parents and children a very healthy, restful and successful school year!