September 5th, 2019
According to the American Dental Association, a dental examination is as important as immunizations and booster shots and should be a regular part of back-to-school preparations. Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that tooth decay affects U.S. children more than any other chronic infectious disease and 19 percent of children ages 2 to 19 years old have untreated tooth decay. Dental pain or disease can lead to difficulty in eating, speaking, playing and learning as well as millions of hours of missed school.
Your child's back-to-school checklist should include:
- Regular dental examinations to diagnose and treat or prevent dental problems. Parents and teachers may not realize there's a dental problem, so regular checkups are important. Your dentist may suggest fluoride treatments or sealants to prevent decay and can diagnose and treat dental problems to save your child pain and lost school time.
- Regular brushing with fluoride toothpaste and flossing. Head for the dental care aisle when you're out shopping for notebooks, binders and pencils. If parents buy several toothbrushes they could have their child change to a new one every three months or so, or after an illness. If it's hard to remember when to change a brush, you could try to change it every time report cards come out. Ask your dentist for a recommendation on how often to change toothbrushes.
- Eating healthy lunches and snacks. Include portable healthy lunch items and snacks in your child's sack lunch, including grains, milk, cheese, raw vegetables, yogurt or fruit. If your child eats in the school cafeteria, review healthy, balanced food choices with him before the first day of school. Cut back on sugary foods and soft drinks.
- Wearing a properly fitted mouthguard while participating in organized sports, PE classes or playground activities.
July 1st, 2019
Holidays are often the stressful times for our health and especially our teeth. We tend to feel free to temporarily forget the careful health guidelines and routines we’ve set up for our families. And why not? It’s OK to relax and take a break once in a while, especially on holidays like July 4th when we are already celebrating our freedom!
But you don’t have to totally abandon care for your teeth in order to have a good time. Here are three great ideas to keep you smiling this July 4th weekend.
Eat this not that.
While it can be tempting to go for chips or candy to snack on, try choosing options that are both fun and healthy. The patriotic parfait pictured is made with plain Greek yogurt which is a dental super food. And the berries provide just the right amount of sweetness to tame the celebration sweet tooth. Getting kids involved in making these treats is a sure-fire way to get them excited about eating healthy and can be a great activity to keep little hands busy.
Don’t forget the water (for more reasons than you think).
July 4th often means plenty of time spent outside, whether that’s watching fireworks or enjoying a family kickball game. Choose water as your number one cooler choice. It’s better for teeth than sodas and sports drinks and it helps keep you hydrated. Even more, when you’re out on a picnic and a toothbrush isn’t available, a quick rinse with water after meals can be the next best thing. Water helps rinse away food particles trapped in teeth and limits the growth of bacteria.
Traveling? Give everyone their own “tooth-care bag”.
Just because you’re away from home doesn’t mean that you have to neglect your family’s brushing routine. Be sure to pack everyone’s toothbrush, toothpaste and floss. A great way to get small kids excited about brushing while on vacation is to create their very own “tooth-care bag”. Purchase a fun new toothbrush along with travel-sized toothpaste and floss and use a zippered pencil pouch for each child. Children also enjoy using craft supplies to decorate their own tooth kit. You may be surprised when you find them excited and looking forward to brushing time.