Dental back-to-school checklist
Nov 2, 2013 / 5:00 am
With Halloween having just come and gone - it is safe to say we have said goodbye to summer and settled into another school year and all the competing scheduling challenges involving our children. As good parents we are concerned with the health, happiness, and success of our children. From a dental perspective we are all aware of the importance of planning regular check-ups to identify and treat the common diseases of the teeth and gums. A nasty infection, or toothache, runs the risk of missing that important math test, field trip, or (yikes!) the school dance where they are planning to approach that cute boy or girl.
The thing that most parents (and even some doctors) don’t understand is the role that growth and development of the jaws can play in proper mental and emotional function. This is especially true when it comes to the reciprocal relationship between dental development and the upper airway. A restricted airway, as in allergies for example, can result in oral (mouth) breathing which, in turn, results in collapsed dental arches. Collapsed dental arches reduce the amount of space for the tongue so that it sits backward and, in turn, further restricts the airway and promotes even more mouth breathing.
Drs. H. Torre and J.A. Alarcon stated in their September 2012 paper that, “Children who breathe orally generally have an increased frequency of sleep disorders, obstructive sleep apnea, sleep-related breathing disorders, restlessness, excessive daytime sleepiness, lack of attention, behavioural and neurocognitive abnormalities, and DECREASED SCHOOL PERFORMANCE.” They also concluded that orthodontic treatment to expand the dental arches resulted in SIGNIFICANTLY IMPROVED SCHOOL PERFORMANCE.
Follow this checklist to help your child have a great school year:
- Book a check-up and cleaning with your dentist.
- Refocus on good oral hygiene habits. Kids 8-years-old and under need you to help them out!
- In the lunch box avoid sweet and starchy snacks.
- Observe your child for mouth breathing and snoring.
- Have the teeth checked for signs of collapse.
- Get the dental arches expanded and WATCH YOUR CHILD EXCEL!!
Read more Straight Talk on Teeth articles
- Anxiety and the NuCalm system Nov 30
- Bite imbalance Nov 16
- Dental back-to-school checklist Nov 2
- Your next breath Sep 20
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