Start the School Year Off With a Smile
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.
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
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
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
good nutrition a top priority
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
forget after-school snacks, many school children go straight to sporting
practices after school and turn tosugary 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. AGD 9/07
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Mouth Injuries From Sports
More than two million teeth are knocked
out each year from sports-related injuries and
mouthguards help prevent about 200,000
injuries high school and college athlete from sustaining injuries.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 74
million students will head back to school this fall, however, according
National Youth Sports Safety Foundation (NYSSF), many of those
students end up as part of the 15 million dental injuries and five
million cases of traumatically lost teeth that occur every year.
However, many students chose not wear a mouthguard for a
|Some mouthguards may impair breathing or speech.
|Not all schools and sports require the use of
mouthguards for contact sports, including basketball and soccer.
|Cost, although mouthguards come in a variety of
However, athletes that wear properly
fitted-mouthguards will find them to be comfortable, tear-resistant and
resilient, In a
report, twenty-two students participated in a study
in which they tested the efficacy and comfort of two different types of
custom-made mouthguards. This report found that the custom-made
mouthguard made with double layers of plastic protection, offered double
defenses and the extra layers did not reduce comfort or wearability.
High-school athletes that participate in soccer and basketball
to consider this type of custom-made mouthguard, recommends Dr. Kenyon.
Benefits of wearing a
mouthguard during sporting events and practices:
|Help prevent injury to the mouth, teeth, lips,
cheek and tongue|
|Decrease the severity of the injury from hits or
falls that could otherwise result in a fractured jaw.|
|Sports account for about 10 to almost 40 percent
of those injuries (about 500,000) and mouthguards can help
prevent those problems.|
Remember, if you lose a single tooth, it will cost
$10,000 – $20,000 dollars over your lifetime to restore that tooth.
American Dental Association
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Soft drinks, especially non-colas
and iced tea, hurt hard enamel
As school start, many people will grab a pop or ice
tea instead of water. It isn't just cola's empty calories (about 150 per
you should worry about. Many of these beverages –
especially non-cola drinks and canned ice tea -- harm enamel, the
protective shell around teeth.
A pilot study of the effects some of these beverages
had on enamel, appearing in the July/August 2004 issue of
found that over time, exposing dental enamel to carbonated beverages and
non-carbonated canned ice tea weakens and
permanently destroys enamel.
Results from the study, which exposed healthy dental
enamel to a variety of popular beverages over a period of 14 days, found
that non-colas and canned iced tea were especially harmful. They
contain flavor additives, such as malic, tartaric and other organic
acids, which are more aggressive at eroding teeth.
Root beer, which contains the least amount of
flavor additives, was found to be the "safest soft drink to safeguard
About 27 percent of the beverages consumed by
Americans are soft drinks. Overall soft drink consumption has steadily
over the years, and remains on the rise, contributing to an
increase in oral health problems, namely cavities.
| 1977, 12- to 19-year-olds drank 16 ounces
of soda a day. |
| 1996, this same age group consumed an
average of 28 ounces a day. |
Soda consumption has increased:
|22.2 gallons of cola per person per year in 1970
to 44 gallons per person per year in 1996. |
|figure increased to 56 gallons in 1999-meaning
about 14 billion gallons of soda were consumed in America that year.
| 95 percent of Americans drink soda|
| 27 percent of overall beverage consumption
is soda. |
What can you do?:
- Drink soda at meal times..it is less injurious
than when consumed alone
- Don't continuous sip pop because it is more
harmful than the whole drink taken at one time.
- Drink soda through a straw may help reduce the
amount of soda that comes into direct contact with the teeth.
- Rinse their mouths out with water after drinking
- Use toothpaste that contains fluoride.
- Stop sipping at
work -A person who consumed 3-4 32 oz
beverages per day while working at a computer terminal developed
rampant dental decay.
A typical 12-once can of regular soda contains approximately 10
teaspoons of sugar.
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September is Healthy Aging¨ Month
Designed to focus national attention on the positive aspects of aging
for adults 50+years of age.
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the School Year Off With a Smile
child looks forward to looking their best with new outfits and
haircuts as they go back to school, but most parents overlook
simple steps to help their child maintain one of their
most visible features-their smile.
show that one of the first things people notice about someone
is their smile.
Here are some good Back-to-school
health habits to incorporate into your child's daily routine:
Dentalnotes, September 2003.
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Many athletic activities involve the
use of protective gear. Today each sport has it's own individual
equipment that is used only
with that sport. However, a
mouth guard is practical and economical because it can prevent tooth
injuries while allowing you to
wear one protective device for
more than just one sport because it can be worn for all sports.
Over the counter "Boil-to-fit"
mouthguards do not protect all the teeth. They are made of poor
quality shock-absorbent material
and are not of uniform thickness around
all the teeth which creates vulnerability to injury. "High-quality
sneakers use a material
called EVA in the insole to cushion your feet
from impact when your foot hits the ground. Similarly, high-quality
use EVA to cushion teeth against a potentially damaging
Our office can fit you with a
Play-Safe Mouthguard which is custom-made of solid, molded EVA and are
light weight and comfortable.
They are the ultimate in smile protection,
long lasting and cost about 10% of the cost of replacing a tooth knocked
out by injury.
For children, whose mouths are
rapidly changing, it is impossible to provide a mouthguard that will
continue to fit through years
of dental changes. For kids, we can
provide reasonable cost mouthguards so that you can replace the guard as
your children grow.
How would you feel if your
daughter had a front tooth knocked out at school during a volleyball
game after you spent thousands
of dollars on braces to give her a
beautiful smile? Please contact us about Play-Safe
*Chew On This.
Healthy Aging® Month –
The main objective of Healthy Aging Month for 2006 is to
encourage local level Healthy Aging Events.
It is an
annual monthly observance designed to focus national
attention on the positive aspects of growing older. For
resources, event suggestions and free tips
TIP: Highlight oral health as part of healthy aging!
National Alcohol & Drug
Addiction Recovery Month
– Sponsored by a subsidiary of the US Department of
Health and Human
Services, this 17th annual event
recognizes the collective effort that is needed to
recover from substance disorders. For health
professionals, three keys are -- assessment, access to
care, and helping make treatment more available. Kit is
Dental workers often see
symptoms, e.g., meth mouth, and can
make a difference in this campaign.
Smart Practice News 9/06
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