The first day of school is here and what a great time for your child to make good dental habits part of a 'new' back-to-school routine.
According to the Canadian Health Measures Survey, an estimated 2.26 million school days are lost annually due to dental visits or dental sick-days. September is a good time to reinforce good dental habits.
"Dental disease is largely preventable, yet many children still suffer unnecessarily from tooth decay and other oral health concerns," notes British Columbia Dental Association (BCDA) President Dr. Bruce Ward. "Back-to-school is an ideal time for parents to reinforce some of the key preventative strategies to good dental health including daily brushing and flossing, making health food and drink choices and visiting the dentist for an examination."
The BCDA offers the following tips to help parents set their children up for good dental health for life:
Brush more, not harder. A perfect way to start and finish the day, children should brush their teeth in the morning and at bedtime with a soft brush and fluoride toothpaste. This is a simple preventative measure that should be reinforced early on as part of a daily health routine.
Pack tooth-friendly foods for lunch and snacks. Cheese, nuts, carrot and celery sticks, fresh fruit or plain yogurt provide a healthy choice for a child's lunch box. Packed with nutrients, these foods won't harm your teeth. Avoid soft or sticky foods that can cling to teeth and limit snacking throughout the day. Children are most prone to cavities when they nibble constantly on foods containing sugar throughout the day.
Think about what they drink. Aside from sugar alone, pop and other carbonated beverages contain acids that can eat away tooth enamel. Even "diet" drinks which don't contain sugar are acidic and can be harmful to teeth. Milk and juice are better options during mealtimes; however, water is always the best option, especially for drinking throughout the day.
Lead by example. Good dental health begins at home. Parents can demonstrate the value of good dental health by practicing their own healthy habits.
Start early. Good dental care starts early. In fact, the best time for the first dental visit is recommended between six months and one year of age, or within six months of when you see the first tooth. The BCDA has an educational vidio offering advice to parents of young children, "How to Take Care of Your Child's Teeth."
To view video, follow this link - http://www.bcdental.org/ECC/index.html
Visit your dentist. A regular visit to the dentist will help to create familiarity and comfort for children. Dental disease is a progressive disease that cannot be reversed. Early diagnosis through a regular dental check-up exam can minimize disease progression and work to rduce the impact and cost of treatment.
2010 Media Release by the BCDA @ http://www.bcdental.org/
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One of the great things about dentistry is being able to enhance patient’s lives so significantly. Allowing people to look better, smile more readily, be free of pain, chew and function normally, live longer and have nice fresh breath for speaking and kissing are just a few of the things we do to improve the lives of everyone we touch. Even the most basic dental procedures are incredibly important – without good dental hygiene and regular cleanings millions more teeth would be lost every year. We hope you enjoy our blog and find the information within useful and sometimes even entertaining.