Add Your Kid’s Smile to Your Back-to-School Checklist

Checking off your list of things to do to get your kids ready to start a new school year? Make sure a dental exam is a part of your back-to-school routine.

We asked Dr. Philip Woller, DDS, why these check-ups are so important. Dr. Woller serves as dental director for HealthNet’s six dental clinics, which care for over 6,500 kids and adults each year. Here’s what he told us about kids and tooth decay:

  1. After the common cold, it’s the most prevalent chronic childhood disease. Tooth decay is an infectious disease and over half of school children, ages 5 through 9, have at least one cavity. And, the problem is increasing dramatically in preschool-age kids.
  2. Dental-related illnesses account for 52 million lost school hours each year. Because serious tooth decay can affect overall health, it can lead to problems with eating, talking, concentrating in class, learning and can eventually lead to school absences.
  3. It’s preventable. You can stop the decay caused by bacteria by making sure your children brush and floss regularly and by taking advantage of affordable dental care in your neighborhood to schedule regular checkups.

A dental exam is just as important as booster shots and should be a regular part of back-to-school preparations, echo the American Dental Association (ADA) and theAmericanAcademyof Pediatrics (AAP).

Back-to-school dental check ups should be easier to schedule during the weeks before students’ calendars fill up with after-school sports and homework. If you don’t already have a dentist, click here to find out which HealthNet dental clinic is closest to you.

Our sixth location opens this month and is just for kids. HealthNet Pediatric & Adolescent Care Center (PACC) is pleased to begin offering dental check-ups and cleanings for established PACC patients ages 0-5 each Thursday, beginning July 12. Learn more!


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