Get an A+ in Oral Health

When you’re thinking about back-to-school tasks this year, add “visit the dentist” to the list right under “buy school supplies.” It’s just as essential!

More than 15 percent of school-age children (and 25 percent of children from low-income households) have untreated tooth decay, which can be quite distracting. Kids with sore teeth may have trouble focusing or participating in class, and eventually, oral health problems can even lead to missed school days.

Don’t have regular dentist appointments already on the books for you or your children? Now is a great time to get back on track! If this will be your child’s first appointment, let him or her know what to expect. (Even if it’s a repeat visit, a reminder is never a bad idea.)

  1. The dentist or hygienist will clean and polish your child’s teeth and show them the best way to brush and floss. You may want to let your child know what tools will be used, and that the toothbrush will probably be different than the one he or she uses at home.
  2. A fluoride solution may be applied to teeth to help prevent cavities.
  3. The dentist will review your child’s medical and dental history.
  4. The dentist will examine your child’s teeth, jaws, and mouth tissues.
  5. The dentist or hygienist may have some recommendations about healthy snacks, chewing gum, dental sealants, and other tips that will help keep your child’s smile healthy.1

If your child is age 7 or older, here’s one more item for the to-do list: Talk to your dentist about a visit to the orthodontist. Orthodontists like to see children when their permanent teeth start to come in, usually around age 7. But that doesn’t necessarily mean braces – orthodontists just like to keep an eye on permanent teeth as they erupt so they can spot and treat problems early if needed.2

Help your child earn an A+ in oral health – and do well in school – by staying on track with dental appointments.


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