Good oral hygiene habits are important for adults and children year round. The American Dental Association along with the 'Give Kids a Smile' program aims to provide free dental service to underprivileged children and adolescents. As of Feb 20, 405,614 kids have benefited from the program.
|Oral Health has Psychological, Social and Physical Impact|
The program also strives to educate parents and caregivers on their children's oral health. Developing good habits at an early age and scheduling regular dental visits helps children get a good start on a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.
ADA president Dr. William R. Calnon said "More than 16 million children have tooth decay, which is 16 million too many." We now know that dental disease can affect a child's overall health and development. Poor oral health has been linked to diabetes, respiratory problems and heart disease.
It has also been linked to a negative impact on a child's psychological status, according to a recent UK study published in the Journal of Orthodontics. The findings of this study also show that there is a clear link between being bullied and the presence of misaligned teeth. Bullying can have both short-term and long-term effects on physiological and psychological well being. We now know that poor oral health has been proven to have a negative psychological, social and physical impact. No child should have to suffer because of their teeth.
|It's Not Just for Looks, It's for Health|
That's why children should see a dentist on a regular basis. Your dentist will evaluate your child's oral health and advise you if on the condition of their teeth, mouth and gums. Misaligned teeth can be treated with a variety of methods: braces, headgear, retainers, removable appliances or surgery. The sooner a problem is identified, the better the outcome will be.
It's important to keep track of a child's dental and overall development so that orthodontic treatment can begin at the appropriate time. The appliances aren't as scary as they used to be, for example there are now invisible braces and fast braces, which are both more popular with teens and adults as well.
“A smile is a curve that sets everything straight.” ~ Phyllis Diller