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Q: What can I do to help my child have a healthy smile?

Posted August 14, 2013 in Advice Column, Winterset

A: Besides the necessary clothing items and school supplies for the new school year, you should also add a dental visit to your list.

According to the ADA, a dental exam is as important as immunizations and booster shots. The Center for Disease Control says that tooth decay affects U.S. children more than any other chronic infectious disease. Dental pain and disease can lead to difficulty in speaking, eating, interacting and learning.

Your child’s back-to-school checklist should include routine dental visits to prevent, diagnose or treat dental issues. Your dental professional may recommend fluoride treatments or sealants. He or she can diagnose and treat dental issues to save your child pain and lost school time. Brush twice per day, floss at least once per day, and use an appropriate mouthwash rinse daily. While shopping for school supplies, be sure to stop by the dental care aisle to pick up a new toothbrush, toothpaste, floss and mouth rinse.

Provide healthy lunches, snacks and drinks. Whole grains, milk, cheese, vegetables, yogurt and fruit are healthy choices. Limit sugary foods and drinks. Water is always a healthy choice.

If your child is involved in sports, be sure to have him or her properly fitted with a mouthguard.

Providing your child with the essentials will ensure him/her a healthy smile and a great start to the school year.

Information provided by Dr. Christopher W. Blanchard, Blanchard Family Dentistry, 820 West Summit St., 462-4474

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