Heading back to school with Little Teeth, Big Smiles
Back to school means most people have a checklist of items on their to-do list that range from grocery shopping healthy lunch options to haircuts and clothes shopping. And yes, it also signals a good time to schedule doctor and dental appointments.
When it comes to the dentist, the routine appointment can strike fear in many children for one primary reason: cavities. The dreaded sound of drilling in the dentist chair is unwelcome in children and adults alike. However, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, cavities are the most common chronic disease in children with well over half of children from ages 12-19 developing at least one cavity. In a recently released study, the Academy cited tooth decay as a “silent epidemic” that disproportionately affects poor, young, and minority populations.
Poor dental health can lead to many health problems, ranging from cavities to other much more serious complications like respiratory infections and even cardiovascular problems. That is just one of the reasons Halifax Regional Dental Clinic recently hosted a program called, “Little Teeth, Big Smiles” to educate parents and children about the importance of establishing good dental habits early and maintaining them throughout life. Parents and children learned about preventing cavities, baby teeth and permanent teeth, good snacks versus bad snacks, and proper brushing and flossing techniques.
Dr. Bridget Brown, dental director at the Halifax clinic, led the education session. She was recently joined at the center by Dr. Trisstar Oliver. In operation since Feb. 1, 2013, the clinic was built as a partnership with the generous support of the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, the Virginia Tobacco Commission, and other partnering organizations.