Back To School Dental Checklist

Every Wednesday I share tips on how to live a healthy life based on my background in dentistry. As summer begins to wind down, back to school health exams are in full swing.

Dental health is connected to your physical & emotional health. Did you know that approximately 30% of kids in the US will miss thousands of hours of school each year due to dental problems? Kids who have dental pain will have trouble concentrating in school and get lower grades.

Let’s start with what you as parents should expect from your child, teen, or young adult’s back to school dental exam.

I promise you that you WILL learn from this list!

Let me know what was most helpful to you!

Take What You Learn & Make A Difference With It!


World No Tobacco Day | Get Legit Reasons To Quit

Tobacco is the second leading cause of cardiovascular related deaths globally! It is only preceded by high blood pressure. Today, May 31st is The World Health Organization‘s official #NoTobaccoDay.

Their message on social media this year highlights just how heart breaking smoking tobacco is. Personally, it reminds me of life’s grim reaper. Smoking tobacco, second hand smoke, and smokeless alternatives have the ability to rob you and your children of living your lives IN health. How?

View video here to “Get Legit Reasons To Quit”

Your life is meant to live IN health not in a hospital! 

Additional health risks from smoking tobacco & second hand smoke include: stroke, lung cancer & oral cancer .

Smoking while pregnant places risks for your unborn child too. Congenital heart defects while in utero, premature births and miscarriages. Even your child’s tooth development or lack of it is linked to smoking during your pregnancy! Sudden death has also been linked to infants.

Your OBGYN, physician, dentist, dental hygienist, pediatrician are key resources to have a health empowered conversation with.

Additional information on how smoking WILL impact your child’s health & quality of life is found in this read. 

Although tobacco doesn’t literally grow on trees, it IS a money tree for companies. Cigarette smoking is clearly at the top of the toxic for your health list, companies are becoming smart with marketing a new target audience. Smokeless alternatives kinda has a non-threatening vibe right?

Vaping, Juuling, etc. target your kids with their sleek look, more flavors than Baskin Robbins ice cream and offer that “hit” being you guessed it … nicotine. Nicotine is ruthless. Nicotine destroys the health of your child’s brain as it develops until age 21.

What is in vaping? How do you start the conversation with your teen?

I’ll give you resources in this vlog. View here.  


Finally, recognize the financial toll on your livelihood, health insurance, potential hospital bills, treatments for recovery, medications or worse, funeral expenses.

It’s time to ditch these sick sticks! 

Welcome your thoughts and questions from this read!

Take What You Learn & Make a Difference With It


Water Fluoridation | What Parents Can Do

A viewer asked me what he can do for his kids regarding fluoride because their community does not have fluoride in their water. I applaud parents who understand the importance of prevention and how fluoride can prevent tooth decay.
For any parent who may read this; I’ve got 5 options for you to consider regarding your kid’s teeth & dental care. 
1) Check into your state to see if you have water fluoridation. It will then lead you to a list of counties. Click your county to discover water fluoridation. 
2) Schedule your child’s dental visit. ADA recommends by their first birthday. I’ve personally seen children in my career by age 2. This is important to establish their risk for tooth decay ranging from low to high. We are also able to provide your child with a fluoride varnish that will contribute to strengthening tooth enamel. 
3) What toothpaste or mouth rinse is your child using. If under age 6, it should be fluoride – free. Young children must be monitored because they can swallow toothpaste and mouth rinses much easier than spitting them out. 
4) Fluoride can be in supplements dispensed by your pediatrician. Your child may also receive a fluoride varnish treatment at your pediatrician’s office. The awesome thing about fluoride varnish is that kids can’t swallow it! Yay! 
5) Be aware of what you eat. Fluoride can be in pesticides, mechanically de-boned meat and some bottled water or teas. 
For the enthusiast reader … Click here for American Dental Association’s 71 page guide on water fluoridation 
Tooth decay is an epidemic for our children in the USA. It hurts my heart to witness young kids in pain, be made fun of because their teeth are rotting or breath is bad from decay, know that they miss millions of hours of school every year because of tooth pain, lose focus in school, get lower grades and in some extreme cases it is life threatening. 
Tooth decay IS preventable. This chronic, active bacterial infection can be prevented! Parents must be pro-active and choose to guide their child onto the pathway to health. 
Join me every week! Subscribe to my YouTube channel
#AskAnastasia #AmericasDentalHygienist #TheHighwayToHealth
Take What You Learn & Make A Difference With It

Back To School Tips

Back to School Tips

How To Make Parents’ Lives Easier & Their Kids’ Teeth Healthier

A recent study states that 30% of U.S. kids age 6-12 will miss school due to oral health problems. That number ends up being MILLIONS of hours that are lost … why is this acceptable?


Yes, I am passionate about this topic. It truly hurts my heart to see any child in pain from tooth decay. Kids do not have a choice regarding their health. They must be taught. It begins with their home environment. Parents, single parents, grandparents have a responsibility regarding the choices they make for their child.

Back to school routines from a summer of fun can be a challenge for both parents and kids. Here are three tips to make parents’s lives easier & their kids’ teeth healthier.

1) This time of year, you may be making appointments with your physician for vaccinations, etc. While you are making appointments, continue to invest in your child’s health by establishing them with a dental practice. Your dental hygienist can guide you on their tooth eruption pattern, suggest what juices are good to buy for lunches, offer flossing alternatives as kids’ dexterity is not floss friendly, identify if they are at a low, moderate or high risk for tooth decay, etc.

2) When you are buying back to school items for backpacks … get travel size toothbrushes & toothpaste to pack in them. Makes it easier on you when they can brush on site in the event you are on the go … and … who wants to battle when everyone is tired upon getting home late.

3) Have toothbrush holders that can either be placed on the backsplash or near the sink in your kitchen. While dinner is being made … or homework is requiring a break … parents can monitor their kids from 6-12 to ensure they are brushing … this can be accomplished anytime and on the weekends!

BONUS: Parents … do not neglect your health! Moms … place either your toothbrush or floss in the shower and indulge in the additional moments you get to yourself while doing something for your health!

Kids who have oral problems lose their focus in school, their grades will suffer, their teeth will discolor, their breath will be bad until the infection is serious enough to miss school.

Establish the value of health at an early age for your kids. They will thank you for it … when they smile!


Take What You Learn & Make A Difference with It