As part of Children’s Dental Health Month, Dental Associates clinics in Wisconsin taught 14,255 youngsters how to care for their teeth. In dental terms, that’s a total of 285,000 very important baby and permanent teeth. In the Fox Valley, the three Dental Associates clinics visited 29 schools and reached 2,660 children.
Hygienists and assistants from Dental Associates practices in Appleton, Greenville, Green Bay, Fond du Lac, Milwaukee, Wauwatosa, Franklin, Sturtevant and Kenosha visited elementary schools, preschools, daycare centers and YMCAs throughout the state to teach children the importance of dental health and show them how to properly take care of their teeth. As part of the visits, each child received a dental kit that included a new toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss and dental care information.
Educating children early and often is vital since the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry reports that more than 50 percent of children will be affected by tooth decay before age five. In addition, a study from the Office of the Surgeon General notes that 51 million school hours are lost each year to dental-related conditions.
The impact of poor oral health goes far beyond the pain of a sore tooth and missed school days. Since a cavity is an infection of the tooth, it makes children more vulnerable to ear and sinus infections and other health issues.
“We’ve done the student education initiative for many years so it’s engrained in our company culture and something we look forward to,” says Dr. Gayatri Bhosale, a pediatric dentist at Dental Associates’ Appleton clinic. “We enjoy working with children and giving them the supplies and information they need to properly take care of their teeth. We’re committed to helping the community in every way we can.”
During the classroom presentations, hygienists and dental assistants from Dental Associates showed children the keys to oral health – brushing twice a day for at least two minutes, flossing and seeing a dentist twice a year for checkups. They also addressed the importance of a healthy diet and encouraged youngsters to avoid sugary snacks and sweet drinks like juice and soda since those products simply coat teeth with sugar. The students learned that fruits, vegetables, water and milk are the best choices.
“Despite what some people think, baby teeth are very important for children. They help young ones speak clearly, chew naturally and provide a path for permanent teeth to follow,” says Thomas Manos, D.D.S, M.S., president and owner of Dental Associates. “They also create a beautiful smile that helps children feel confident.”
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Founded in 1973, Dental Associates is Wisconsin’s largest family-owned dental group practice with 12 clinics throughout the state and nearly 800 staff members, including 100 doctors and 576 operatories. The company recently announced plans to open new locations in Waukesha and Howard in spring 2016, bringing its total number of dental centers to 14. Dental Associates provides complete family dental services, both general and specialty dentistry, under one roof, from pediatric dentistry to specialized dental services for older adults, with a focus on excellent care that is affordable, accessible and personalized. Dental Associates is accredited by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC). Through the company's CarePlus Dental Plans, Dental Associates provides affordable and high-quality dental health care to all Wisconsin residents. For more information regarding Dental Associates, visit www.dentalassociates.com.