If there’s one thing the mental health experts are talking about right now, it’s the importance of structure and routine. In our current crazy Covid-19 environment, routine has become a challenge and disruptions are almost daily. Close to the Brinkley Dental office in Brampton, children are being disrupted yet again with another school closure and much of the entire province is experiencing another lockdown. These are trying times and for children in particular, the importance of trying to maintain some semblance of routine cannot be overstated. When it comes to oral health care, routine is important too. Let’s talk about our continued efforts to maintain routine and how you can continue to support structure in your house!
We aren’t just talking about teeth. There are so many aspects to routine that are important for helping us cope with everything else that’s happening around us.
- Whether heading outside of the house for school or work – or heading to the kitchen or couch – continue to maintain a schedule. Mimic your regular times as much as possible and avoid the temptations to stay up late and sleep in. We’ve been doing this for a while now but it’s never too late to put some structure in place if you’ve either been avoiding it or need to reinstate it.
- A regular bedtime routine means a better morning routine. Try to stick to a schedule the kids are already familiar with and of course, make sure tooth brushing is part of it!
- A healthy breakfast to start the day and ensuring the kids brush after breakfast as part of their “getting ready for school” process is critical for ensuring good oral health care. If we ever return to a more “regular” schedule you won’t be facing a battle about brushing teeth because you’ve been doing it all along!
- If flossing isn’t part of your routine now is a perfect time to introduce it. As much as this blog is about maintaining a schedule, the truth is you might have a few extra minutes so go ahead and take the time to teach your children about the importance of flossing. Once a day is great so this might be a bedtime activity and there are many easy “tools” now available on the market to make flossing more manageable.
- There’s been a lot of talk about “business” on the top and pajamas on the bottom for adults on zoom calls throughout the pandemic. We recommend – yup, you guessed it – maintaining the routine of getting up and getting dressed just as you would if you were leaving the house. This will help to frame for your child that it’s time for school and learning, not relaxing. It will help to distinguish between weekdays and weekends too.
- Schedule those breaks and also – get outdoors. As much as possible, try to mimic the school day routine or make one of your own that includes a healthy dose of vitamin D. We all need a little time outside of the four walls of our home or condo so make sure fresh air is a part of your day!
- Downtime is important too. This might be something we are all forgetting about right now, as pressures continue to mount and many families are struggling to manage home, work and school. Perhaps more than ever, making downtime part of your routine is crucial. We don’t just mean stepping away from the computer, but stepping away from all responsibilities even just for a little while. Put down the phones, play a game, go for a drive or a hike outdoors, enjoy a Friday night movie night cuddled in your PJ’s and enjoying some popcorn. There are still plenty of opportunities to break up the routine a little bit, if only we use our imagination!
If you haven’t been thinking of your teeth for a little while, we might also respectfully remind you that routine oral health care is important too. We have taken every precaution to keep both our staff and our patients safe at Brinkley Dental and continually monitor for any and all changes in public health mandates. You can be assured that our practice is focussed not only on your teeth but on protecting you properly when you come in for any tooth related concerns, whether that’s a routine scheduled cleaning or an emergency problematic tooth that must be dealt with sooner than later. Our family-friendly dental office is still open, still safe and still committed to helping you manage your smile! Schedule an appointment today and as always, we’ll leave you with this gentle reminder: “Don’t forget to be a BFF with your mouth and brush that smile!”