When you were little, did you hate answering the question, “Have you been brushing your teeth?” If so, the likelihood is that you weren’t very good at keeping up good oral hygiene habits. Maybe you answered the question with an excuse like, “I keep forgetting!”
The same is true today of elementary-aged children in our school systems. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry has stated that over 50% of children will most likely have tooth decay before age five. Because of this, it’s crucial that young students learn the importance of taking care of their teeth.
How Can Teachers Help?
To help kids understand oral hygiene, teachers can do what they do best – teach! As kids go throughout their day-to-day lives, they may not be aware of the dangers that neglecting their dental health presents. Teachers can act as a liaison for dentists by educating both young students and parents about the importance of good oral hygiene and the threats that can arise – such as cavities, gum disease or even oral cancer – from a lacking effort.
Teachers can educate kids on good daily habits, including:
- Brushing twice a day
- Flossing once a day
- Using mouthwash
- Eating foods that will encourage healthy teeth
- Visiting a dentist every 6 months.
The hope is that with more awareness, kids will begin to recognize the value of good oral hygiene and start implementing healthy habits right away.
Are There Programs That Help?
All over the United States there are programs in place to assist schools and teachers in teaching kids about dental. Check around – there may be schools that provide presentations near you! Some examples are shown below.
Dental Associates – Volunteers from Dental Associates’ clinics based in Wisconsin have been a part of outreach to underprivileged communities. They want to promote dental health by teaching kids about keeping their teeth healthy and by providing supplies they may need in a simple dental kit.
- Teeth On the Go – In the state of Kentucky, the program “Teeth On the Go” works to educate children from kindergarten to sixth grade about the importance of oral hygiene. They provide in-school presentations as well as oral health learning kits for children with more material on dental care education.
- Children’s Dental Network – Hygienists from the Children’s Dental Network offer presentations on oral health and in-school treatment for children of different ages. The presentations cover a variety of information, altering slightly with each grade – kindergarten through fifth grade. The treatment offered is available for children in preschool to eighth grade who are unable to see a dentist in their current situation.
How Can 1Dental Help?
Some children suffer from poor dental health because their family cannot afford to pay for dental care and give them the proper examination and treatment for healthy teeth. This is a struggle in many parts of America, but what some people may not realize is that there is an option to help lower the costs of dental work: discount dental plans.
At 1Dental, our plans are designed to provide a reduced rate on nearly all dental procedures, allowing families to afford the dental care needed.
Take a look at the 1Dental fee schedule to see price reductions with each of our plans. Once you join a dental plan, you can gain access to a list of trusted, in-network dentists who accept the reduced rates.
As summer approaches and school is being let out, routines change drastically for kids that attend school. As they relax from the school year, don’t let them relax on their dental health habits! Take time to make a schedule, create a system or invent a game that will encourage them to continue the upkeep of their teeth. The short time it takes each day for great oral health will be well worth it!