Big grins are a staple of the back-to-school photos parents love to share. To keep those smiles bright, make sure back-to-school preparations include your child’s oral and dental health. Establishing good oral hygiene habits now can help kids avoid missing school for dentist appointments, improve their overall health, and even increase their confidence.

“Back-to-school time is a great time to establish healthy habits and routines that can reduce school days missed and last a lifetime,” said Dr. Sarah Poteet. She’s a dentist, owner of Dallas Functional Dentistry in Dallas, Texas, and a mom. Cavities among even young children are on the rise, she pointed out in a recent interview.

“We have an epidemic of kids with cavities in the U.S. causing too many kids pain and missed school days, as well as compromising their oral health,” Dr. Poteet said. “According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 20% of kids between the ages of 2-5 have one or more cavities. More than half (52 percent) of children have experienced a cavity by age 8.”

Back-to-school time is a great time to establish healthy habits and routines that can reduce school days missed and last a lifetime.

—Dr. Sarah Poteet

The Healthy Schools Campaign reports that children ages 5 to 17 miss nearly two million school days per year because of dental health issues, including 30% of kids age 6 to 12. Parents can’t foresee every unexpected school year disruption, but being proactive about oral health can mean one less thing to worry about–especially when it can take months to get a dentist appointment.

Good oral hygiene habits also contribute to better overall health, research shows. Besides painfully swollen gums and tooth decay, infections from bad bacteria in the mouth can also gradually affect kidneys, lungs, the heart and even brain development. “Poor oral health doesn’t just impact your kid’s mouth, it affects their whole body,” stressed Dr. Poteet.

Finally, making the transition back to school can be stressful enough without a kid worrying about bad breath. Most kids look forward to rejoining classmates, but halitosis can get in the way of fun social interactions. Smelly bacteria in the mouth can impact a child’s self-esteem and confidence, leading to a change in speech patterns–and fewer smiles.

Actions Parents Can Take at Home
So what can aware parents do to keep their kids’ teeth and mouths healthy this school year and beyond? Add ProBiora oral-care probiotics to your family’s daily routine.

“At home, brushing and flossing twice a day are important steps in a good daily oral-care routine,” said Dr. Poteet. “Many kids are not very adept at brushing, so monitoring your kids’ brushing as much as possible also is helpful. But brushing and flossing is only half the battle.”

Good Bacteria to the Rescue
Daily use of ProBiora oral-care probiotics is essential for a healthy mouth to support good bacteria that is native to the mouth.

“I recommend adding ProBiora probiotics for the mouth for both kids and adults’ daily oral-care routine,” said Dr. Poteet. “ProBiora is the original oral-care probiotic that is backed by more than 30 years of clinical research.”

ProBioraKids is specially formulated for children. It’s all-natural and gluten-free with no artificial sweeteners or colors. It’s easy to use, too. Simply dissolve or chew one or more ProBiora at bedtime after brushing and flossing. Kids love the orange-creamsicle flavor.

Brush. Floss.

With one easy step, 
parents can optimize their kids’ oral-care routine. Find more information at