Families know that August is one of the craziest months, as parents and kids prepare to go back to school. When you’re making your to-do list for the upcoming school year, don’t forget to schedule your next dental appointment. On average, you should see the dentist twice a year. Scheduling office visits in the summer reduces the time children are gone from school and may be more convenient for your family’s hectic schedule.
Your child’s appetite, appearance and concentration can suffer when experiencing dental problems. Aches and pains can be the root of fatigue, anxiety, hunger, and irritability. An estimated 51 million school hours per year are lost because of dental-related illness. Providing adequate, preventative dental care increases his or her capacity to learn, reduces absenteeism and improves their physical well-being.
Children’s Dental Campaign presented a study that associates dental health with attendance and performance at school. Children who experience tooth pain are more likely to have lower grade point averages. “It is difficult for us to maintain things in life when we don’t feel well”, says Minnesota teacher, Lynn Nordgren. Educating your children and schools about oral hygiene and healthy behaviors foster a brighter smile and future.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), tooth decay affects children in the U.S. more than any other chronic infectious disease. We want to help you brush up on your dental care knowledge and stop the progression of tooth decay:
- Drink plenty of water.
- Choose unflavored milk. Skip the high sugar flavored milks, such as Chocolate and Vanilla.
- Prepare nutritious meals. Encourage your child to eat fruits and vegetables (as snacks too).
- Use children’s toothpaste with fluoride. For children under age 7, apply a pea-sized amount.
- Consult a dentist about sealants and coatings applied to a tooth to prevent decay.
Did you know a child’s oral health begins before the first tooth appears? For “teethers”, brush their gums. It removes residue and soothes their aching gums.
Schedule your family’s summer dental appointments today to have their oral health in tip-top shape for the upcoming school year. Contact George Dental to schedule a comprehensive exam for your child before school starts!
Children’s Comprehensive Oral Health Exam
A child’s health exam allows us to benchmark the overall health of your child’s mouth and teeth and diagnose any potential problems they may have. Our Comprehensive Dental Exam not only checks for tooth decay and gum health but also examines your child’s entire mouth, head, and neck area and will include these evaluations:
- Head and neck — We will look for any problems on the exterior surface of your child’s head and neck, as well as feel for any swelling or tenderness (which are signs of an infection or disease) in your lymph nodes and salivary glands.
- Soft tissue — The soft tissues of your mouth include the tongue, inside of the lips and cheeks, and the floor and roof of the mouth are examined. Our team will examine these areas for spots, lesions, cuts, swellings, or growths that could indicate an oral health problem. We will also inspect the back of your child’s throat and tonsil area.
- Gum tissue — The Team will examine your gums and supporting structures of the teeth.
- Occlusion — We will check of how well your child’s upper and lower teeth come together. An “off” bite can increase your child’s risk for tooth wear, cracks and breakage.
- Clinical examination of teeth — Our team will check for signs of tooth decay by examining the surface of every tooth. We will touch your child’s teeth with a dental instrument, called an explorer, to look for cavities. (Decayed enamel feels softer compared to healthy enamel.)
- Digital X-rays — The exam will generally include digital X-rays to look for signs of tooth decay, as well as for gum disease and other oral health problems. Digital X-rays significantly reduce exposure to radiation.
- Cleaning – After an initial oral exam of your gums and teeth, and documentation of any changes in your child’s overall health and medicine use, our Team will clean and polish your child’s teeth, talk to you about caring for your child’s teeth and gums, and answer any questions you might have about home care products.
- Polishing — After your child’s teeth have been cleaned, they are polished to remove plaque and stains on the tooth surface. The polish contains an abrasive substance and fluoride.
- Prevention — Our hygienists might offer additional instructions for your child to follow at home, based on the results of your exam. Don’t hesitate to ask our hygienists for instructions about brushing or flossing, or general care questions about your teeth and gums. If your child is at risk for cavities, we may apply a fluoride varnish with your permission, to aid the strengthening of tooth enamel.
- Treatment recommendations — If any oral health problems are identified during your examination, our dental team will make recommendations for the best next steps and work with you to develop a treatment plan that works with your needs.