Back to School Q&A-Featuring the Tooth Fairy
August 22nd is recognized as Tooth Fairy Day. The month of August also marks an exciting “back to school” period for children and teenagers. The Tooth Fairy understands that parents and students are just as busy as her, so she’s taken some time before school starts to answer common questions she receives this time of year. She hopes her responses can help the oral health of child everywhere.
Q1: Dear Tooth Fairy, does my child really need dental x-rays?
A: Absolutely! Dental x-rays are important for a number of reasons. In younger children that still have baby teeth, they allow the dentist to monitor the unerupted teeth. Sure, you can see a tooth by looking directly into the mouth, but without x-rays we wouldn’t know what’s hiding underneath it. In teenagers, x-rays help us identify cavities that might be hiding in between teeth. Remember, x-rays are used to show us what the eye can’t see and properly diagnose and treat the issues.
Q2: Dear Tooth Fairy, my child will be playing football for his high school this fall, does he need a mouth guard?
A: Did you know that 13-39% of dental injuries are sports related? An athletic mouth guard is a wonderful source of protection! Mouth guards act as an absorber for shock and can help prevent dental trauma (such as tooth fractures). Keep in mind that dental trauma is not specific to just one sport! Athletes of any contact sports, including hockey, lacrosse, and basketball, should consider wearing a mouthguard.
Q3: Dear Tooth Fairy, my kid’s dentist recommended they should get sealants? What is that? Should we do it?
A: Sealants are a thin, protective coating placed on the chewing surfaces of the teeth that work as a form of protection against cavities. Of course, brushing & flossing are the best ways to prevent cavities, but sealants can also play a huge role. A study conducted by the CDC found that children without sealants have a 3x higher of a chance of getting cavities compared to children with sealants on their permanent molars. We only get one set of permanent molars, it’s up to us to protect our children’s teeth so that they are able to serve them for the rest of their lives.
Q4: Dear Tooth Fairy, we have a very busy schedule and find it difficult to make time for dental appointments. Any tips for busy families?
A: No matter how busy life gets, it’s important to prioritize your health (mental, physical, and dental!). River Oaks Dental offers Tuesday evening appointments, until 7:00pm, for patients that can’t come during the day. All other weekdays, they start seeing patients at 7:30am. They can give patients a doctor’s note to excuse them from work/school. Another tip is spread out the family appointments. Not everyone in the family has to come together the same day. We will help you make it work with your schedule!