Ask Your Forney Dentist: Dental Emergencies – What You Need to Know About This Leading Cause of Missed School Days for Children

Did you know toothaches that result in serious dental emergencies are the leading cause of missed school days for kids? In fact, 1 in 7 children aged 6 to 12 suffered from toothache pain within the last 6 months. Some of those toothaches resulted in diagnosing a significant issue that required immediate treatment at an emergency room or emergency dentist.

Even if the pain doesn’t signal an emergency, it can cause other issues as well. Here’s what you need to know.

The Ramifications of Dental Pain

Children miss over 51 million hours of school time every year because of dental issues and similar conditions. The pain associated with such problems is distracting for students, causing their schoolwork to suffer, and can lead to absences. One study states that children on average experience 17.7 days of pain before they are seen by an emergency dentist or taken to the ER.

Students with healthy teeth typically have better attendance rates and are more likely to pay attention in class, especially when compared to those struggling with a toothache. They may even be more inclined to participate in other school-related activities, helping them have a fuller experience during their childhood and adolescence.

What You Can Do to Help

To help you start the school year off right, review proper oral hygiene techniques with your children. Go over brushing and flossing, and make sure they stick to an ideal schedule, flossing once a day and brushing twice a day. Also, be aware of sugary or starchy foods, especially as snacks, as these can increase the risk of painful cavities.

Why Seeing Your Forney Dentist Can Help Prevent Dental Emergencies

Children aren’t always the best at articulating their needs or the nature of the pain they are feeling. The best way to ensure your child doesn’t suffer from a toothache and any serious dental issues that may be the cause is to maintain their dental health. Having a regular dental exam at least every 6 months and regular x-rays reviewed by a dentist is imperative. Scheduling a dental appointment as part of your back-to-school list is a great way to make sure your child stays on-track.

Forney Wellness offers convenient after-school appointment times, so your child doesn’t have to miss class to get their needed cleanings and screenings. Not only will you be helping your child avoid painful dental conditions, unnecessarily school absences, and costly emergency room visits – you’ll also keep them smiling!

Ask Your Forney Dentist: Children’s Dental Health Month

Tooth decay and bad oral health are almost entirely preventable! That being said, did you know:

  • Tooth decay is one of the most common chronic diseases affecting children today
  • Kids with poor dental health are almost three times more likely to miss school due to dental pain than their fellow students with good oral health
  • School absences that are caused by toothaches are associated with poorer performance in school

With these statistics in mind, it is a huge priority in the dental industry to educate and emphasize the importance of proper dental health for our children, starting at an early age.

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month

Through the month of February, thousands of committed dentists along with the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research and the American Dental Association raise awareness on the importance of good dental and oral health in children. The campaign slogan for this year’s Children’s Dental Health Month is “Choose Tap Water for a Sparkling Smile.” The campaign message encourages kids to choose tap water with fluoride over sugary drinks to help promote good oral health. Fun kid’s activity sheets about good oral health and the 2017 National Children’s Dental Health Month campaign can be found here!

So, how can you do your part to help your child keep their smile sparkling and mouths healthy? At Forney Wellness in Forney, we recommend your child visit a dentist by their first birthday, and then have regular dental check-ups every six months. It’s also recommended that your child brushes his or her teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Follow proper toothpaste measurement instructions to ensure little ones are using a safe amount! Flossing daily is also important once baby teeth begin to touch, because flossing can reach spots between the teeth that brushing can’t. You can also check with your Forney dentist about a fluoride supplement which helps tooth enamel become harder and more resistant to decay.

Now is a great time to schedule your child’s dental check-up with our dentist at Forney Wellness in Forney. Let’s start early with the kids in Forney to promote a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums for the children in our community.

Online Sources

  1. https://www.nidcr.nih.gov/NewsAndFeatures/Announcements/ChildrensDentalHealthMonth.htm
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3222359/
  3. http://dentistry.usc.edu/2012/08/10/poor-oral-health-can-mean-missed-school-lower-grades/
  4. http://www.colgate.com/en/us/oc/oral-health/life-stages/childrens-oral-care/article/ADA-02-national-childrens-dental-health-month
  5. http://www.ada.org/en/public-programs/national-childrens-dental-health-month
  6. http://www.kidsmentalhealth.org/national-childrens-dental-health-month/
  7. http://www.ada.org/en/public-programs/national-childrens-dental-health-month

5 Tips to Get Your Kids Comfortable with Dental Visits

Routine dental appointments are critical to the maintenance of our health, especially for kids. It’s important that parents instill this habit in their children at an early age. A trip to your dentist at Forney Wellness may seem like a trivial task for adults who know what to expect, but can be intimidating – and even scary – for young kids.

According to the National Children’s Oral Health Foundation, the leading cause of childhood illness results from tooth decay. Approximately 16 million kids in the United States have tooth decay that has been left untreated. Tooth decay and oral problems from a young age not only affects teeth, but overall health and all aspects of life.

Getting your child to the dentist can be a daunting task for parents, especially if your child has peers with prior negative experiences. If you are unsure of how to get your child comfortable with dental checkups, you’re not alone. Below are five tips for helping your child overcome any fear and actually enjoy visits to the dentist.

Tell Them What to Expect

Fear can stem from the unknown. Getting on the website of the dental office you plan to visit to show your child pictures of the office can be helpful. When you call the office to schedule a visit, ask for a rundown of the appointment so you can later relay that to your child. As you brush your child’s teeth, explain that the dentist will also be doing the same type of thing. The more information the child has, the more empowered they can feel.

Be Honest and Understanding

If your child needs dental work, it can be tempting to lie about things like how cavities are treated. Honesty is the best policy, however, it is important to remember to use words that are non-threatening to your child. If your child has dental visit fears, ask them to tell you what they are specifically; try to listen and understand how they may be feeling. Answer their questions, and offer positive experiences of dentals visits you have had.

Explain that Dentists are the “Good Guys”

Children need to know that dentists are superheroes for their teeth. Explain to your kids that they only get two sets of teeth, and we have to take good care of them because they have to last a lifetime. Explaining that similar to brushing and flossing, visits to the dentist are part of that routine to grow big and strong. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, you should take your child to the dentist twice a year. These visits should begin when your child starts getting his/her teeth, or around age one.

Make It Exciting!

Showing your child pictures of the dental office– as we previously mentioned in the first step – can inevitably spark some enthusiasm. Some dentists have really neat play areas and unique toys, which makes it something your child can look forward to. Going to the dentist is a new adventure! Using encouraging language such as, “We get to go to the dentist” instead of, “We have to go to the dentist” can also be helpful in making it a fun experience.

Be There

Being physically present during your child’s appointment goes a long way in ensuring they feel confident and safe. For a lot of kids, separation from their caretaker or parent can cause anxiety and/or fear. Make certain the person scheduling your appointment is okay with you staying with your child during the duration of the visit.

Other than eating healthy foods and practicing good oral maintenance, taking your child to the dentist is the single most important way to support healthy teeth. Utilizing these five tips will help ensure your child is not only comfortable visiting his or her dentist at Forney Wellness, but they enjoy it too!

Dear Tooth Fairy

Do you recall visits from the Tooth Fairy as a child? Children are often so excited about losing a tooth, because they know a visit from the Tooth Fairy is imminent. Traditionally, the Tooth Fairy takes children’s lost teeth from under their pillows as they sleep, replacing it with money. Some children even have special boxes, pillows, or stuffed animals designed to keep the tooth safe while it awaits its collection from our fictional flying friend.

Although the Tooth Fairy is relatively new to human traditions, people from all cultures have been celebrating or commemorating the loss of children’s baby teeth for centuries, according to The Salon. Some ancient cultures would bury, hide, or even burn the lost teeth as part of a cultural ritual. And although her exact origins are unknown, she is a common figure in well over 90 percent of American households, according to one survey.

Whatever traditions you hold, the loss of a child’s baby teeth is an important milestone. It’s one small step closer to adulthood and independence. And, as many children have proven in these hilarious and adorable letters to the Tooth Fairy, they are more than up to the task:

A few favorites from Buzzfeed:

Dear Tooth Fairy,
Please don’t take any of my teeth because I love them all and if you can give my all the others back pretty please. But you can still give me money still.
To: Tooth Fairy
From: Hailey

To Tooth Fairy,
Dear Tooth Fairy I lost my tooth yesterday, but I didn’t put it under my pillow because Christmas Eve was tomorrow so I saved it so Santa and you could meet each other. That’s why. And now it’s Christmas Eve. Now you and Santa will meet each other.
Love Allister

Dear Tooth Fairy,
I can’t find the thing I put my tooth in so I’ll have to do without. Anyway here is a 15c for working very hard and instead of you giving me money I give you it.
Kristy.
P.S. My tooth is a little brown from the blood.

More cute letters from Babble:

Dear Tooth Fairy:
I have just lost my 11th tooth. I have been working on it all morning! Sorry it has been so long since I lost a tooth. I have been doing a lot of busy stuff this year.
Your fairy loving friend,
Elizabeth

Dear Tooth Fairy,
The tooth is outside. Please don’t come inside. Thank you because Lucy is scared of you.

And finally, from POPSUGAR Moms:

Dear Tooth Fairy,
I lost my tooth on the 23rd of October. It is now the 12th of November. I lost my tooth in pizza. I lost both today.  You owe me $1. Not to be hard, but I need money.

Dear Tooth Fairy,
I lost my tooth, so it will not be under my pillow tonight. I do not take credit cards.

If you have young children at home, celebrate the loss of their teeth in whatever way you like! And to help them keep those adult teeth healthy for life, teach them good brushing and flossing habits now – and take them to the dentist twice a year for exams and cleanings. Good dental health is the gift that keeps on giving – long after that Tooth fairy money has been spent.

February is Children’s Dental Health Month! Here are 5 Ways to Keep Kids’ Teeth Healthy

Children are notorious for their love of sugary treats. Candy, juice, and soda are just a few of the things many kids consume on a regular basis.

Unfortunately, these habits are causing major dental health problems. Dentists are seeing an increasing number of very young children – many even younger than age 3 – who need invasive dental surgery due to decay. February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, so it’s the perfect time to cover how we can help children get a healthy smile – and keep it that way for life.

  1. Cut back on juice, soda, and sports drinks. Sugary drinks are one of the top offenders for tooth decay in children. The entire mouth gets bathed in sugar as they sip, and many kids drink these beverages throughout the day. It’s a hard habit to break, but it can be done in gradual steps. Replace one sugary drink a day with water or skim milk. Dilute juice with 50 percent water, and only select juices with no added sugar. Try adding fresh or frozen berries to make flavored water, or try cucumber slices or mint leaves.
  2. Keep bottles out of bed. If you have a toddler, he may get in the habit of falling asleep with a bottle – but this can lead to dental problems later. To gradually wean your toddler off the bedtime bottle, feed him before he falls asleep or use water instead of milk or juice in the nighttime bottle.
  3. Beware the chewy foods. This includes so-called healthy options like dried fruits, as well as the obvious gummy candies and even gummy vitamins. These foods stick to the teeth for long periods, leading to cavities. Whenever possible, have kids snack on fresh fruits like apples and strawberries, and look for xylitol-sweetened vitamins for kids. When they do have a sweet treat, choose something like a piece of chocolate, a scoop of frozen yogurt, or some fruit with a touch of whipped cream.
  4. Start brushing early. Toothbrushes are available for babies, toddlers, and older children. Infants’ teeth can be cleaned with a damp washcloth. Toddlers can start brushing with a toothbrush and water (with your help) once they have a few teeth. At age 3, kids should brush with fluoride toothpaste twice daily. Supervise your child’s brushing until at least age 7 to ensure they are cleaning all surfaces.
  5. Take your child to the dentist sooner rather than later. Your dentist at Forney Wellness can help you spot problems early to keep your kids’ teeth healthy. They may see areas that aren’t getting brushed thoroughly (a common problem with children) or may see weak spots that need extra attention to prevent a cavity. In addition, your child’s dentist can do fluoride treatments and other preventive care – possibly saving your child from fillings or invasive procedures later.

Your dentist at Forney Wellness is your advocate for healthy teeth – starting with the youngest members of your family. Establishing good dental health in childhood leads to beautiful smiles that last a lifetime. Call and schedule a dental appointment for your children at Forney Wellness. It could be one of the best things you do for their health!