5 Tricks To Get You Out the Door on Time During a Busy School Morning

Oral hygiene for the busy school age kid

5 School-Morning Oral Hygiene Tips and Tricks

As a teenager, you have a busy life filled with more responsibility than ever before. We’ve all had that morning: We’re rushing out the door as fast as possible to get to class on time, half-starved, teeth feeling fuzzy, and our breath—well, let’s just not talk about that! The chaotic morning makes for a very long day. Sometimes, it’s just a flat-out bad day.

Often, some prep the night before can solve all of our early morning issues. Other times, we just have to get a bit crafty. But that’s okay. Life isn’t perfect, and it’s important to be kind to yourself, no matter how far your morning goes off the rails.

To try and help you navigate a more successful school morning, below are five ideas to try and help you remember what to check off that list each morning!

1. Build a morning routine.

Be sure to set your alarm clock early enough so you have enough time to get ready. But what time would that be? Work backward from the time you need to be out the door. How long will it take to eat breakfast? What about packing your bag? Or putting on your shoes?

To save time in the morning, pack your lunch the night before. It is so much easier to get out the door when you can just grab the lunchbox and go. It’s usually easier to make smarter meal choices this way too. If you’re grabbing lunch on the way out the door, you might not get enough to actually keep yourself full.

Another idea would be to lay out your clothes before you go to bed. Let’s face it, we’ve all stared at the mirror a little too long, debating on what to wear. It’s stressful, and it’s not a great way to start the day.

If you have trouble remembering to brush your teeth, try to do it at the same time as something else. If you wear contacts, put those eyes in and brush your teeth at the same time. Or rather, one right after the other. You could do the same thing with brushing your hair, or taking daily medication.

When building your routine, you can fit in the toothbrushing first thing. It’s actually recommended to brush before a meal. But more on that later.

2. Can’t I just skip my teeth?

With a busy schedule, taking the time to brush two times a day isn’t always a priority. You’ve got homework, a social schedule, chores, sleep, and the list goes on and on! But to protect our teeth from the bacteria that lives in plaque, (eww!) we’ve got to make it happen. Set that timer for two minutes and polish each of those pearly whites until it goes off. 

The same goes for flossing. A toothbrush doesn’t get all those little places between the teeth, so remember to use the floss to get all of the hidden food into the open. Your teeth will thank you!

3. Brushing before breakfast is okay.

Did you know that brushing your teeth before eating a meal is actually recommended? A lot of meals include sugary or acidic foods, which just gets rubbed deeper into the tooth with immediate brushing. If your mouth feels icky after a meal, use mouthwash to freshen it up, or wait 20-30 minutes before you brush.

If you’re like me—running late 90% of the time—this hack will ensure you have time to get food in your stomach before school. I’ve eaten one too many waffles in the car.

4. A relaxing bathroom?

It might sound overly simple, but why not paint a ceramic dish to hold your toothbrush? Give yourself a bathroom you want to spend time in. If you have your own bathroom, ask your parents if you can decorate it how you like. If you share with a sibling, see if you can do it together. If decorating isn’t an option, don’t underestimate the power of a deep clean. Though, let’s face it, that’s not nearly as fun.

5. Checklist!

I know, I know, you’re probably sick of lists. But you know that good feeling you get whenever you check off everything on a list? Why not make a small version for the mornings? You can just use a notebook and keep it on your bedside table, write down all your “must-do” things, and check them off one by one. Time yourself, make it a game! Challenge your siblings to a race. See who can get fully dressed first. Now, this isn’t an excuse to cut corners. Everything has to be done and done correctly.

Getting everything done and ready in time to get to school is stressful. You’ve got so much on your mind, and it can be hard to keep everything straight. Remember that it’s okay if it’s hard to get it all done. Let yourself adjust your daily plan as needed. You’re going through a lot. Remember to take a moment and be kind to yourself.