Schedule an Appointment (855) 834-4451 or Book an Appointment Online

How Dental Health Partnerships are Benefitting Schools This Year

Harlingen High South is school #100 in the Smiles for Schools partnership program. Funding from the program went toward the school’s annual football camp.

 

School is in session, and middle and high schools across California, Arizona, Nevada and Texas are realizing that a partnership with their local dentist can mean more than just a free toothbrush.

 

So far this year, over 100 schools have partnered with Western Dental / Brident in the dental company’s “Smiles for Schools” program, which provides funding for and shares oral health educational information with intermediate and high schools.

 

With 110 schools signed up to-date, the program is on pace to reach this year’s goal of giving out more than $100,000 in support of schools.

 

Helping the program reach the “100” mark was Harlingen High South, in Harlingen, Texas. Funding provided by the Brident Dental office in Harlingen (a Western Dental affiliate) was used to support the school’s annual football camp, where aspiring young football players were given guidance in weight room training, nutrition and leadership. Each camp participant was issued a T-shirt that featured the Brident Dental logo.

 

Western Dental/Brident offices works with their Smiles for Schools partners to share dental health information and to be a presence at events like back-to-school night and health fairs. It’s a great way for schools to tap into the expertise of the company to learn good dental health practices, which is so important for young people to grasp.

 

The Smiles for Schools program supports good oral health habits and reaches children at an early age. More than 240 dental offices are paired with neighboring intermediate and high schools. Schools like Harlingen South are enthusiastic about their partnership with Brident, and many more schools throughout the West will likely be benefitting from a Smiles for Schools partnership as the school year progresses.

 

If your high school or middle school is looking for a dental health partner, contact Western Dental for a Smiles for Schools application by emailing MarketingDept@westerndental.com

Share:
Fear of Dental Visits: Best Methods to Alleviate Anxiety
Most people are a little apprehensive about a visit to the dentist, while others are just downright frightened. People who don’t see a dentist regularly admit that fear is the overriding issue. The fear can be so severe that some individuals will put up with gum infections, pain, or even broken and unsightly teeth, rather than make a dental appointment. 5 Ways to Help Alleviate Fear • Identify your causes of anxiety and phobia. Pain is the major concern. Other concerns include loss of control, feeling of helplessness, embarrassment over condition of teeth and gums, and negative past experiences. • Communicate fears prior to appointment. Before you set an appointment, be vocal about your apprehensions, fears and anxiety. This gives the dentist a way to gauge the situation and create an action plan suited for your needs. In most cases, dentists will devise cues and signals. • Use distractions. This helps divert attention during treatment. Try listening to music, fiddling with a stress ball or counting to yourself. Prior to appointment, watch a funny video or a feel-good clip to help you relax. • Are sedatives helpful? Sedation can help reduce anxiety and keep a patient calm and relaxed during treatment. Sedatives include nitrous oxide, and oral or IV sedation. Discuss with your dentist which one might work best for you. • Practice relaxation techniques. Relaxation exercises can help someone stay calm during treatment. The tactics include breathing, which involves taking a deep breath and letting it out very slowly. This will help relax the muscles and slow down heart rate.
How braces can deliver more than just a straight smile
When contemplating the merits of orthodontic treatment, prospective patients don’t often look beyond the obvious benefits of an improved bite, straighter teeth, and a higher self-esteem. Braces can correct myriad of oral health issues that, if not treated, can cause bigger problems later in life. And, while other non-traditional forms of orthodontic treatment to improve physical appearance have sprung up over recent years (like online mail-order services or the clear molded trays designed to move teeth), they’re not appropriate for everyone, and they do nothing to address other more serious dental health problems. Crooked and misaligned teeth can contribute to improper cleaning of teeth, leading to tooth decay and possibly gum disease or total tooth loss. In more extreme cases, disfiguring of the face and mouth occurs, affecting the development of the jaw and position of the teeth. That can lead to breathing or swallowing problems which can cause snoring and sleep apnea problems as an adult. Improper occlusion and jaw alignment can also create speech, chewing or biting problems. Over time, excessive strain on gum tissue and the bone that supports the teeth can affect the jaw joints, leading to headaches or face and neck pain. Of course, the typical reasons for braces are to correct a cross bite (one or more upper teeth bite inside the lower teeth), deep overbites (lower front teeth bite into the upper tissue of the upper teeth), under bites or lower jaw protrusion (when the lower jaw is longer than the upper jaw) and spacing problems due to missing or extra teeth. While orthodontic treatment is most common for young teens, all ages can benefit from braces, from pre-ortho treatment at age nine or so, to full braces for teens and young adults. And it’s not unheard of for older adults whose teeth may have shifted over the years to undergo treatment to realign their smiles. Though orthodontic treatment can be done at any age, timely treatment ensures maximum dental health. The American Association of Orthodontics recommends that children get an orthodontic evaluation no later than age 7. Many parents take their children to the orthodontist to correct problems arising from issues of early childhood. For example, finger or thumb sucking habits can cause protrusion of the upper incisor teeth and constriction of the upper jaw. Teeth that erupt out of position can also be guided to proper alignment with braces. It’s important to meet with an orthodontist for an evaluation. Many orthodontists provide ortho consultations free of charge. At that point, they can present options, including clear, gold or traditional braces, and discuss financing packages. With all the recent advancements in orthodontics, wearing braces has never been easier or more effective.
What Are “Sealants,” and How Can They Reduce Cavities in Children?
If you’re a parent, you know that getting your child to brush after every meal can be a challenge. Brushing and flossing are the best ways to help prevent cavities, but your children may have other priorities.   While brushing is important, it’s not always possible to reach every nook and cranny of your teeth, especially back molars where food particles and cavity-causing bacteria can hide. That’s why sealants, a clear, thin protective coating, can be a key treatment in reducing and preventing cavities when applied to teeth.   In fact, sealants have been shown to reduce the risk of decay by nearly 80% in molars. This is especially important when it comes to your child's dental health since, according to a report issued by the Center for Disease Control, "school-age children without sealants have almost three times more cavities than children with sealants." (October 2016)   Early intervention is key. Sealants should be applied before teeth have a chance to decay. First molars appear around age 6, and second molars break through around age 12. Applying sealants to new molars can keep them cavity-free from the start, which helps save time and money in the long run.   How sealants are applied. It’s an easy and painless process. Your dentist preps the surface of your tooth by applying a gel to form a strong bond between your tooth and the sealant. Sealant is then ready to be applied into the grooves of your tooth making the surfaces smooth which prevents bacteria-filled plaque from sticking to teeth. Sealants harden and dry to a clear, invisible coating, so your dentists can observe if the sealant is effectively protecting your tooth each time you come in for your appointment.   Sealants will often last for several years. Your dentist can advise if sealants are an option for you and how often you might need to reapply them.