Ask any kid and they will say that summer is their favorite time of year. The season signifies time off from school enabling the pursuit other delights including sunshine, fireflies, BBQs and summer love. Despite the lazy summer vibe, the oral bacteria that impacts dental health never takes a day off. That puts parents in the position of ensuring that their kid is on top of their dental care regime winter, spring summer and fall.
Let's face it, no matter how many times parents discuss the importance of oral hygiene and healthy behaviors such as limiting soda consumption and eating a nutritious diet based on the Government's Food Plate, kids will still ignore the message. In cases such as these, actions will speak more loudly than words and parents can use summer's down time to open their children's minds regarding professional dental care.
Family road trips are a summertime activity forever intertwined with memories. Loading up the car with caretakers, kids, family pets, healthy snacks and props to keep everyone occupied until the destination is reached is only part of the challenge. The rest surrounds finding activities that are engaging, fun and affordable for the entire brood. Parents concerned about the dental health of their children may want to include a stop at a dental museum or two in order to sneak in some knowledge regarding the fact.
For many, seeing is believing in regards to dental care and country is filled with dental and medical museums that can help individuals open their eyes and see the light right in front of them. New York City is home to the New York Academy of Medicine and those hollowed halls contain a myriad of medical artifacts ranging from primitive field surgery kits from the Civil War (containing nothing more than a saw, cotton and a bottle of booze) to a set of George Washington's dentures.
No trip to Washington D.C. would be complete without a trip to The Smithsonian Museum; the educational network includes multiple museums, a zoo, nine research centers and 136 million items. One branch is the National Museum of Dentistry, a dental museum filled with large collection of dental care artifacts replete with Queen Victoria’s personal oral hygiene instruments, toothbrushes from the 1800s and the world’s most comprehensive collection of dental advertising poster art. Individuals interested in in dental care should know that National Museum of Dentistry has been decreed by Congress as the official museum of the dentist industry.
Perhaps your journey is not taking you to the East Coast. A trip to Bainbridge, Ohio can provide another educational experience. A local dental museum located in a residential building constructed in 1815 is the nation's first dental school.
While employment opportunities in many other fields have retracted, the possibilities for dental hygienist work are set to grow over the next few years. According to information from the United States Government’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, "Dental hygienists rank among the fastest growing occupations," and the opportunities for the dental care position are expected to grow by 36 percent through 2018 (http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos097.htm#outlook).
While younger kids can simply enjoy their seasonal time off, juniors and seniors in high school may be contemplating a career in the dental industry as the odds and those who focus in on providing dental care stand a better chance of finding a job after graduation. The east coast is playing host to an educational event to encourage the next crop of professional dentist, dental hygienist, therapists and the like.
The University of New England will host the third annual “Dental Careers Exploration Camp” 2012 Sunday, June 24, through Tuesday, June 26. The event will be held on the schools' Portland, Maine campus and will play host to students from Norway, Saco, Ashland, Chebeague Island, Fort Fairfield, Berwick, North Berwick, Lisbon, Wade, Cape Elizabeth, Kennebunk, Holden and Fort Ken and from New Hampshire’s Pelham and Lisbon communities (http://www.dental-tribune.com/articles/content/scope/news/region/usa/id/8884).
The dental camp will allow interested high-school students to test the waters regarding their potential profession. Students will get some hands-on experience courtesy of being able to apply dental treatments (such as drilling and filling teeth on test dummies) as well as work shadowing in local, participating dental offices.
If your kid has ever shown an interest in the dental care industry, this event can prove to be an eye opening experience and assist with career decision making. It is important to note, that in the nation, there is a shortage of licensed dentists a structured education can prepare your children to take on the role with gusto.
Staycations (vacation at home) are all the rage as they are cost saving and can provide a great holiday without the stress of having to travel and pay for associated expenses. If you are a parent and already know that junior will be by your side during the summer season, then tending to a home garden can be one of the best educational experiences of all.
First Lady Michelle Obama is leading the Garden Initiative as she has dedicated her efforts to fighting childhood obesity. Her first book "American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America" (Crown) addresses the issue and notes that "engaging" children in the food process can be one of the first steps to improving their eating habits (to include fruits and vegetables) and that can improve their dental health over time.
Gardening can be as elaborate as building raised beds in a dedicated plot of land in your back yard or simply growing herbs and edibles via container gardening. Regardless of how the gardening will be implemented, children need to be engaged in the process from the get go as not only is the digging, planting and watering fun, it will actually help connect them to where real food comes from and encourage a eating a diet more aligned to the Government's recommended Nutrition Plate.
That direct contact with the earth will help children develop a love for natures' bounties, encourage them to eat more fruits and vegetables and to turn their backs on the processed meats, snacks and beverages that are destroying their health (both oral health and general well being).
It is important to note that while these are certainly ways to educate your children regarding how to improve dental health, a hands-on approach to oral health is also part of the scenario. Visiting the suggested and participating in these types of proactive experiences can help create a dialogue regarding proper dental care. Then following up those steps with ensuri