August 16, 2018 HOW DENTAL EDUCATION WILL HELP YOUR STUDENTS Do you know teachers who might be influential in dental health education? If not maybe you or someone in your family could benefit from the following educational information on good dental practices and educational programs. Caffaratti Dental Group is offering community leaders helpful dental health tips and programs to implement. Even if you are unable to promote ideas in a classroom, these steps can encourage your children, grandchildren, or extended family to maintain healthy and cavity-free teeth throughout a lifetime. How often do cavities occur? According to statistics published by the Center for Disease and Prevention, (CDC), cavities are the most chronic disease in children and adolescents aged 6 to 19. Since the stats for adults over the age of 20 are not much better, help from your child’s teachers can make a difference in how the next generation could address tooth decay, gum disease and tooth loss. During August, Caffaratti Dental Group is offering a Teacher Special (for new customers) to educators who are new to our practice. We are encouraging teachers to get involved with all age levels of students. Research demonstrates that dental health education programs improve knowledge and also practice of good oral health behaviors. Why teach dental health education? So you might be wondering what the impact is on attitudes or behaviors of children and adults exposed to oral health programs. In review of the research on dental health educational programs, we found these positive results. Improvement across multiple studies and ages in the following: Increase in knowledge of good oral health behaviors Reduction in plaque Decrease in bleeding of gums during probing examination Improvement in gingival health Increase in practice of good oral health habits What oral health educational programs are most effective? If you as a parent want dental health education to be most beneficial, two contributing variables were evident across multiple studies. When the programs included involvement with a significant other, teacher or caregiver, the effectiveness improved. Additionally, including a dental health cleaning demonstrated increased longer-term gum or gingival health. Dental health programs and action-oriented participation not simply literature proved to provide better lifestyle choices and environments in which these healthy habits can be formed. What are some objectives to include in a dental health education program? For your younger elementary school children, these could be reinforced through question and answer periods as well as short participatory projects throughout the calendar year. Teeth are important to our body Clean teeth are healthy teeth Dentists help keep our teeth and body in good health with regular cleanings Some ideas for student discussions and projects to meet these objectives: Why do we need teeth? What do our teeth help us do? Could we eat without teeth? What about smile or frown? Is it easy to talk without our teeth? Try having them talk without their tongue touching their teeth. What are the characteristics of our teeth? Are they soft or hard? What would happen if we have soft teeth? How many teeth do we have? When do we get our teeth? What is the purpose of our first set of teeth? Do we have more than one set of teeth? How many? What are permanent teeth? How do we keep our teeth healthy and white? What is a cavity? What is plaque? How do you brush your teeth? What are good and poor ways to brush your teeth? What is toothpaste? What is fluoride? Why is it important? How often do you brush your teeth? Discuss optimal numbers. Are healthy food choices good for our teeth? What are examples of these? Does this also affect our health? How might it keep you from getting sick? Do you swallow the toothpaste? What is dental floss? Demonstrate good brushing and flossing techniques. These questions can be broken up into 10-15 minute segments and include pictures, props, videos and student participation. Let your imagination and creativity be your guide! One such program designed and recommended by the American Dental Association can be accessed on the Internet called, Smile Smarts and includes such ideas as an Oral Care Calendar. Whatever the age of the child or adolescent, the teacher’s reinforcement of good oral health and knowledge of our teeth’s function and importance is critical. To help achieve this, children should see and hear about your regular dental cleanings and check-up. Making your students aware of your good dental health hygiene is important because you serve as a primary role model for many. Have your picture taken or videoed while on your next trip to the dentist showing how easy and comfortable it is to get your teeth cleaned. In order to encourage you to help your children, Caffaratti Dental Group offers a new patient special. Give us a call today at (775) 204-9020 to schedule your next check up!