We are aware that the Autumn school days might have parents in a daze, although we are quickly finding our fall routines.  Our children are immersed in a daze of school activities, sports, studies, and Halloween anticipation.  Pediatric Dentists offices are still managing an equally energetic pace with Back-to-School check-ups.

In the midst of New School Daze:  The Back-to-School check-up.

Parents are Coaches for Dental Care

Parents are Coaches for Dental Care

We stressed the critical importance of these check-ups in our previous article, The Dental Check-up:  A Back-to-School Crusade for Dentists.

Likewise, we have used numerous quotations and summaries from Dr. Joe Castellano.  “Studies have shown that poor oral health can lead to poor overall health and poor performance in school.”

He explained, how important the “back to school ” dental exam is.  Getting the exam “before the school year starts will help ensure that every child has the best possible chance at success.”

And he added, “Dentists and hygienists can provide certain tips and guidelines to parents and caregivers to help keep their children cavity-free and start the school year right.”

Turning School Daze into School Days

Now we bring you Part Two of that article.  Because we are concerned that in the rush of the season, your children could accidentally adapt poor oral habits.

In our previous blog, we covered strong coaching for the toddlers, pre-school and Kindergarten members of your family. We gave you a list of tips.

We told you what to expect as you initiated them into good oral care habits.  Did you know that the tips of good oral hygiene are age-appropriate?

As we promised in the previous blog, we now intend to give you some age-appropriate tips for your older children.  These are the ones who are in the thick of school daze.

Now is the Time:  Out of School Daze and into Days of School Schedules

zNo dental daze here! Let's floss for school days.

Learning how to floss and turning dental daze into school days.

Back-to-School schedules actually help parents.  Now we hope you will coach your children to brush two times a day for two entire minutes and floss once a day.

Most parents recognize this, especially when they have established their dental home here.

However, today’s very important point is that the art of brushing changes with the age of the child.  It must be age-appropriate.

No Daze for Ages 4,5,6:  Focus on the Proper Way to Brush

Although we covered this to some degree in the previous blog, are you aware your child does not yet have fine motor skills he or she needs to brush properly?  At this age, they are in a daze about all the changes in their world and in their mouth.

  • Yes, we have mentioned this before.  However, we want to be very specific.
  • For example, support your child when he or she is brushing new molars with care.  You see, at 5 or 6 a lot of children still brush as they did at 4.  So they completely miss the new molars
  • “They’re not accommodating the new molars, and they’re not accommodating the fact that the mouth is growing.”  So if your child is Pre K or even First Grade, he or she needs supervision.”

We hope you will brush with them.  Help them and snag all the way to the back of the mouth to clean and floss those shiny new molars.

Back-to-School Teeth for Ages 7-12 in A Daze of Resistance

What a difference a year or two can make.  At these ages, children no longer appreciate brushing as an accomplishment.

There might be resistance to dental care. Be a strong parent.

You must be a firm parent to enforce dentistry in the face of resistance.

  • Do you know these can be the years of resistance?  At 7-12 years old, the “daze” is fake.  They are aware of good brushing technique, but they resist it.  This age resists and perhaps resents taking the time to do it.
  • You must find it in your heart as parents, to take over and be authoritative about oral hygiene schedules because children at this age are very busy.  They are beyond the concept of “sugar-bugs.”  But be sure they understand the consequences of cavities.

Ages 12-18 in a Daze of  a Little Personal Vanity

Don’t let your child become a statistic.  Often times we think only little kids get cavities.  However, the tendency for caries (tooth decay) spikes in the teenage years.  Trusting your teens is important, but the discipline of their tooth-brush and floss behavior is still critical.

  • Penetrating the teen or pre-teen daze might not be easy.  But as a parent, you must provide guiding dental advice that will build their habits for years to come.
  • We have previously blogged about tooth whitening, which becomes a huge issue in this age group.
  • Dentists often say, “The behaviors of the teenager are going to translate into the 20-year-old.”

Remind them that they don’t have to brush any teeth they do not want to keep.  They’ll laugh, but they’ll get your point—and we hope they will brush, floss and see the dentist regularly.

About Dental Check-ups–Do not Go in a Daze:  Remember Timing Is Everything

As part of the trust and responsibility, you hope to develop with your teen or pre-teen, check your pre-teen or teen-aged child’s agenda before you make a dental appointment.  But, keep those dates reserved.

A Salute to Breast Cancer Awareness

Dentistry for Children would be remiss if we did not salute one very important feature of October:   It is Breast Cancer Awareness month.

Pink Ribbons Honor Breast Cancer Awareness Days.

Pink Ribbons for Honor and Remembrance in Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Each year, we take a few words and moments to celebrate Breast Cancer Survivors and to remember those who lost their fight.

Let’s look at a few dazing and astonishing Breast Cancer Facts:

  • In the first place, be aware that “About 1 in 8 U.S. women (about 12.4%) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of their lifetime.”
  • In 2018, doctors will diagnose 266,120 new cases of invasive breast cancer.   This number represents newly diagnosed women in the U.S.
  • The number does not include 63,960 new cases of non-invasive breast cancer.
  • About 2,550 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in men in 2018.  A man’s lifetime risk of breast cancer is about 1 in 1,000.

It’s true that we focus on children’s teeth here at Dentistry for Children.  However, we wanted to dedicate a few words to the awareness, advocacy, and education of the pink ribbon.  We are wearing ours.  Are you?