Delta Dental Encourages Dental Check-Ups before School Starts

Posted on August 3, 2012


NASHVILLE, Tenn., Aug. 1, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --There are plenty of items to check off the back-to-school list – backpacks, calculators, pens, pencils and art supplies – but your back-to-school checklist isn't complete without a visit to the dentist, according to Delta Dental of Tennessee.

"A dental checkup should be part of a child's back-to-school routine," said Dr. Jed Jacobson, chief science officer of Delta Dental. "Tooth decay is the most common disease in children. If left untreated, it can lead to bigger dental problems and affect a child's learning."

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, more than 51 million school hours are lost each year due to dental-related problems.

"It's a good idea for parents to take advantage of the last few weeks of summer to be sure their child's dental health is top notch heading into the school year," Jacobson added.

Dr. Jacobson recommends the following oral health tips for parents of school-aged children:

                        Encourage your child to brush twice a day, especially after meals, and don't forget to remind them to floss.

                        Pack lunches with low sugar items when possible. If sugary snacks are included, also throw in crunchy vegetables like baby carrots and encourage kids to eat them last. Celery and carrots are "nature's toothbrush" and will help clean off some of the sugar residue from the other foods.

                        Rinse thoroughly and often with water. Water helps dilute any acid created by sugary foods.

                        If your child has loose teeth, don't let them slack on keeping them clean. Have them brush around the sore areas and use mouthwash to clean the rest.

Eligible youth can get free dental exams and cleanings through TennDent, the dental benefits program for youth under age 21 who are enrolled in TennCare. Delta Dental of Tennessee manages TennDent.

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