New Look Dental September 2011 Newsletter
New Look Dental Newsletter Vol-4
September – 2011
Start the School Year Off With a Smile
Every child wants to look their best as they head back to school this fall. Parents help by scheduling haircuts and buying new outfits, but most overlook the simple steps to helping their child maintain one of their most visible features – their smile.
Studies show that one of the first things people notice about someone is their smile and that a good smile creates a positive self-image…something all parents wish for their children. Back-to-school time is the perfect time to incorporate good oral health habits into a child’s daily routine. The sooner you make them a priority, the sooner your child will benefit.
Schedule a back-to-school dental visit
Seeing a dentist twice a year during the school-age years is vital because this is a time of great change in the mouth, with kids losing baby teeth and getting in their permanent teeth. Tooth decay is still the most common chronic childhood disease and, left untreated, it can impair a child’s ability to eat, speak, sleep and learn. However, studies show more than 60 percent of school-age children do not see a dentist annually. Simple preventive checkups twice a year can head off childhood decay and help you and your child learn how to protect their teeth throughout the year.
Establish daily brushing habits with your children
Children should brush at least twice a day. To encourage children to brush after every meal, let them pick out their own travel toothbrush and toothpaste to take to school. There are many child-friendly products that help encourage younger children to brush. Make sure your child’s toothpaste contains fluoride and the toothbrush is soft-bristled.
Make good nutrition a top priority
National studies show that only one in five school-age children eats the recommended five daily servings of fruits and vegetables – greatly increasing their risk of cavities. In addition, only one in five children meets even the minimum standards for calcium consumption. Take charge of your child’s health this school year by packing healthy lunches.
Don’t forget after-school snacks. Many school children go straight to sporting practices after school and turn to sugary foods and drinks from a vending machine when they don’t have any other option, which are disastrous to children’s oral health. Bite-sized carrots, fruits, nuts and bottled water are much better after-school snack options and give children the fuel they need to excel in physical activity.
Don’t Rush the Brush, Brush to the Beat!
Despite the variety and advancements in toothbrushes today, people don’t brush long enough to get the best results, reports the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD).
Since many people brush during the morning or at night with the radio on, I tell my patients to brush for one song”. “That’s about three minutes – the right amount of time to get the best results from brushing.
People will swear that they’ve brushed three to four minutes, but the average person brushes for less than a minute. This is not long enough to reach all areas of the mouth and scrub off cavity-causing bacteria.
Generally, a toothbrush should have a long, wide handle with soft bristles. Be sure to brush on both sides of the teeth and the tongue. Change toothbrushes every three to four months before their bristles become frayed. Toss the toothbrush after an illness to avoid harmful bacteria harbored in the bristles.
Electric toothbrushes are a great option for those who have limited dexterity, such as older people or arthritis sufferers, and are effective for people with braces since the rotating heads can clean hard-to-reach areas.