September has been an exciting month for families in Miles City as children settle into school and learn the ropes with new teachers and new routines. One routine that we are very excited to implement is the “Toothtastic Club” for children who participate in the breakfast program at public elementary schools in Miles City.
Brush After Breakfast Program
Children at Highland Park, Jefferson, and Garfield elementary schools have been gifted a tooth kit containing a toothbrush, floss, and toothpaste by Hogan Family Dental to be used for brushing after breakfast. Tooth kits have also been given to a few teachers by request who would like to encourage tooth brushing after lunch. Drs. Robin and Eric Hogan hope the kids and teachers enjoy taking a moment to freshen up after their meal.
Dr. Robin Hogan wanted to be sure that we were giving each child who participates in the school breakfast program an opportunity to brush after breakfast. If the supplies and structures are not in place, most would agree it would be very challenging for a child to find a place and time to brush after school breakfast.
Dr. Robin visited with Principals Sara Lucero and Josh Patterson to determine if a brush after breakfast program could be implemented in the elementary schools. Both principals were very enthusiastic and grateful for the opportunity to improve the oral health of the children who eat two meals a day at school. In addition, the teachers at Garfield Elementary asked Dr. Robin to do a mini-oral hygiene session with the children to ensure the children know how to brush and floss properly. This is planned for next week.
Drs. Robin and Eric Hogan believe brushing a minimum of twice a day is optimal for oral health. A few benefits of twice daily brushing include:
- maintain fresh breath
- reduce the risk of gingivitis
- reduce the risk of cavities
- reduce dental stain on teeth
- reduce the quantity of bacteria in the mouth, and
- disrupt biofilms on the tooth surface therefore reducing the chance of periodontal disease.
Children need assistance brushing until they are eight-years-old, because most children simply do not have the manual dexterity to angle the toothbrush into all of the hard to reach places.
Favorite Tips for Success
Here are our favorite tooth tips for helping a child with tooth-brushing: Make it Fun! Listen to music while you brush. One of our favorites is “Brush your Teeth” by Raffi. However, any music will do, we just encourage it to be an enjoyable experience rather than a challenging one.
Encourage your child to spit out the excess toothpaste so they don’t swallow it. Use a pea-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste for children 3-6 years of age and the size of two peas for older children.
Encourage a back and forth motion for proper brushing and to be systematic in their approach. Begin brushing the molars to be certain they don’t get missed; they are pretty groovy and for many children, the food particles get stuck easily in molar teeth.
Use a chart to mark am/pm brushings and reward with a sticker or something of the sort at the end of the week if this is a motivator for your child.
To learn more or to schedule an appointment, call Hogan Family Dental at (406) 234 – 2924 or email us.