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Back to School “New Year” Health Tips

Updated: Nov 3, 2021

I recently partnered with a company called Ormco, which makes orthodontic products, to help educate consumers about teeth-straightening treatment and important must-know information. With summer almost passing us by, back-to-school season is upon us. “New Year” for moms--when checklists of to-dos are set for children before the “first day”--can be both daunting and exciting. Here are some tried-and-true back-to-school health checklist items.

New Calendar

I recommend a fresh family calendar for the start of the school year to hang in your kitchen. Use a color-coded system to help keep every family member organized. A digital calendar, like Google calendar, is also a good way for everyone to see and edit the schedule. Sit down with your children before the school year and go over the calendar. Take a look at the upcoming family health appointments and activities to keep them on track.

Health Appointments

It's best to get health appointments for your kids out of the way before school begins. As a health expert and family physician, I recommend that every student have an annual physical examination before going back to school. A typical physical examination includes a medical history and physical exam. In many elementary schools, a school physician is available to perform medical examinations, but most students are examined by their private physicians.

This is also the perfect time to take your child to the orthodontist. The AAO recommends that you take your child to see an orthodontist beginning at 7 years old. If your child is ready for treatment, your orthodontist will most likely discuss treatment options for your tween/teen.

Orthodontists have the specialized training needed to give your child the best results. In addition to dental school, they complete two to three more years of schooling plus thousands of hours of additional training and education.

Braces have advanced a lot since we were kids. Orthodontics no longer has to equate with bulky metal brackets, sore gums, clunky headgear, and lots of rubber bands. The latest treatments mean less time, less discomfort, and better outcomes.

Scientific research has shown that there are different ways to align the teeth that offer a simplification of treatment, improved patient experiences, and better outcomes. One way is with The Damon Braces System. According to Dr. Thomas Barron--a top orthodontist, educator, and industry consultant--, the Damon Braces System offers unique technology that allows a constant, low movement of the teeth. He also says that with Damon Braces, a patient usually does not need to rely on painful tooth extractions to gain the necessary space, even with moderately or severely crowded cases.

Look at these before (left photo) and after (right photo) Damon Smile photos from another orthodontist, Dr. Frost -- these transformations are fantastic.

Photo Credits: Dr. Stuart Frost

It’s important to note that not all doctors use modern braces. Some orthodontists still offer the braces of the past, so be sure to ask questions during your consultation. And if they don’t offer them, get a second opinion! If you want to learn more about Damon Braces, visit Damon

New Year, New Rules

Before school starts, have a family meeting to sit and go through all of the rules in place during the school year (i.e.: no gaming during the week, 1 hour of tech time per school day, etc.). It's best to set expectations from the beginning.

Also, now is the time to set up chore and allowance schedules. Kids and teens who get an allowance, tend to be more financially savvy than those who don’t. Have your child pick something that is within their capability and allow them to change it up each week. This helps them learn responsibility and stay interested.

Hope this helps! Dr. Jen

Dr. Jen Caudle is a Family Doctor & Associate Professor at Rowan University, an On-air health expert, and a video creator. Please sign up for her free newsletter and follow her on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube for daily health videos.

*Dr. Jen Caudle is a paid consultant for Ormco. The opinions expressed are those of Dr. Jen. Ormco is a medical device manufacturer and does not dispense medical advice. Consumers should seek the advice of an orthodontist. Teeth images have not been altered. Individual results may vary.

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