Final Back-to-School Reminders

by MikeMeehan 8/28/2017 9:46 AM

We talked about tooth care tips for the kids as they head back to school, we recommended some good books to encourage healthy dental habits, and now that the kids are officially back in school or maybe only days away, we’ve got a few more tips to share. Eye exams are often skipped A new survey found that over 50% of parents in the U.S. don’t take their kids for a comprehensive eye exam before going back to school. In the same survey, the majority of respondents agreed that eye exams are important for their kids. So what is preventing parents from taking their kids to the eye doctor? Some might think that vision screenings, sometimes offered at school, are adequate. Vision screenings and comprehensive eye exams are different and screenings can miss the majority of vision problems. When to take your child for an eye exam There can be warning signs your child has a vision problem, but even without symptoms or if your child has a low risk of vision problems, the American Optometric Association recommends children receive an eye exam at 6 months of age, 3 years of age, 5 years of age (before first grade), and then every two years or as suggested by your doctor. If your child is at risk, the frequency changes to every year or as recommended. Look for a list of factors that place a child at risk for vision impairment here. Vision problems can affect learning Sometimes with kids, vision problems can be misdiagnosed or undetected. There is a link between vision and learning, so making sure they can read the blackboard, their books and their laptops is important. About 80% of learning is through a child’s vision and 60% of students who are labeled as problem learners have an undiagnosed vision problem. As the numbers illustrate, adding eye exams on your priority list will benefit your child and their learning. Back-to-school gear for athletes Back to school also means school sports. And when we think of sports, we think of mouth and eye protection. Did you have protective eye gear and mouth guards on the back-to-school list? Mouthguards can provide ample protection from sports-related injuries to the teeth, mouth, jaws and surrounding areas. They help to prevent any kind of dislocation of jaw joints and protect the teeth from being knocked out. Read more to determine what kind of mouth guard fits your kid’s sport or activity. According to an article on AllAboutVision.com, the amount of sports-related eye injuries reported in emergency rooms are over 40,000 every year. But most of these injuries are preventable with protective eyewear. With sports, we may think of flying objects as the hazard, but eye injuries can be a result of an elbow or finger in a close contact sport. Suit up the kids with all their sports gear and include mouth guards and protective eye wear. Did you get their eyes checked? You take your children to the doctor and dentist, now add your vision provider to that list. Back to school can be a busy time with all the preparation and anticipation. But whether this time of year is best for your family, or any other time during the year, make their vision health a part of your schedule. Protect your active kid with mouth guards and eye shields. And we wish you all a happy back-to-school season!

Healthy Teeth, Healthy Dog – for National Dog Day

by MikeMeehan 8/25/2017 9:53 AM

Our dogs are a frequent topic here in the office. We share laughs, lessons, and, of course, love for these amazing creatures. Because we adore them so much, we want our dogs to live happy and healthy lives. And we’ve come to learn that their oral health can have a lot to do with that. Your dog’s dental health is an important part of your pet’s overall health. Sounds familiar, right? Just like humans, healthy teeth and gums mean a healthier dog and a longer life. We emphasize the importance oral health has on overall health, and it’s the same for our four-legged family members. For National Dog Day, we’re going to celebrate our dogs by continuing our message and include our dogs! Oral health problems for dogs Like humans, dogs can have similar dental problems like gingivitis and periodontal disease. It’s imperative to keep teeth and gums strong and healthy because dental issues can lead to other health problems. Another similarity, early detection and treatment can be critical. We get our teeth checked twice a year; with your dog’s annual visit to the vet, teeth and gums will (or should) be checked. You can monitor your dog’s teeth between these visits by looking for plaque buildup and swollen gums. How to keep your dog’s teeth and gums healthy Brushing your dog’s teeth might seem impossible, but with some effort, it can pay off in the long run. Struggling with the task of keeping our dog’s teeth clean is a topic I’ve discussed with my co-workers. And I’ll admit, none of us have taken on the challenge of brushing. Some of us have adopted older dogs, so we’ve had to take our dogs to the vet for a cleaning which involves anesthesia. I recently rescued a younger dog, so it’s possible to start a routine of brushing to prevent the need for a dental procedure in the future. It might take some getting used to, for me and my dog, but with time, patience and training, it could turn into a habit. According to the American Veterinary Medical Foundation, brushing your dog’s teeth regularly is the most effective way to keep them healthy and may reduce or even eliminate the need for a dental cleaning at the vet. If you decide to take on the challenge of brushing your dog’s teeth, consult with your vet. There is special toothpaste for dogs because human toothpaste is toxic for them. There are also specially designed toothbrushes. But if you can’t manage brushing your dog’s teeth, there are other things you can do. Chew toys – I’m lucky that my dog enjoys chewing on toys and sticks. When I see her chewing on her favorite rubber toy, I’m thankful it could be helping her teeth. Some toys are designed to strengthen gums and teeth. When a dog chews or gnaws on a toy, it can scrape off buildup on their teeth. Dental treats – There are lots of options out there. My vet sells a great brand of dental chews. They’re similar to raw hides, but they have special ingredients that fight and breakdown the plaque on teeth. Dental treats can also help with freshening breath, but be aware, severe bad breath can be a sign of dental problems. Tooth wipes – A great option and alternative to brushing, dog tooth wipes are used to rub against the teeth and remove plaque. Dry food – I used to think of soft food as a special treat for dogs, but it’s not good for their teeth. Soft food can stick to teeth, create buildup and lead to tooth decay. Happy to celebrate National Dog Day celebrates all dogs and encourages rescue and adoption from shelters. The day brings attention to the many roles dogs have in our lives. We’re happy to celebrate this day and message with you all, while also relating it to the message of making oral health an important part of your overall health. Take care of your smile and your pet’s! Always consult with your veterinarian about what is best for your dog. For further information and resources: http://www.akc.org/content/dog-care/articles/5-tips-for-keeping-your-dogs-teeth-clean1/ https://www.cesarsway.com/dog-care/dental-care/7-tips-for-doggie-dental-care

What is a dental plan?

by MikeMeehan 8/24/2017 10:20 AM

A dental plan is a type of health benefit that helps make care more affordable. You pay a monthly or annual fee called a premium, and, in exchange, the dental plan helps you pay for dental services and procedures. Even if you’re generally healthy and have had few or no cavities, it pays to have a dental plan. Here’s why: • Experience better overall health. People who see the dentist regularly are more likely to report good oral health and improved overall well-being. • Detect diseases sooner. More than 120 diseases, including heart disease and diabetes, have symptoms that appear in the mouth. Your dentist may see these signs during an oral exam, allowing you to seek treatment early. • Treat small oral health issues before they become more serious. Regular dental visits mean your dentist can address concerns early and treat them before they become serious. That’s why most plans cover 100 percent of the cost of preventive services like exams and cleanings. • Enjoy cost-savings. In addition to sharing the cost with your dental carrier, you can save even more by visiting in-network dentists since Delta Dental has pre-established fees with these dentists. • Make dental work more affordable. Dental plans help make dental care more budget-friendly, but the savings are especially helpful when unexpected issues arise – they can help reduce expenses you may not have been prepared for. Ready to purchase a dental plan? Visit https://individual.deltadentalmo.com/ to purchase a plan or find additional information.

Archive



©Delta Dental of Missouri 2012