Dental news and notes.

Illustration by Andrew Joyce

Toothbrush Entertainment

Make brushing enjoyable with helpful podcasts.

Although dentists recommend brushing your teeth for two minutes, most of us manage just 45 seconds. To extend brushing time, try the Chompers podcast from Gimlet Media. The short show shares jokes, stories, and fun facts to entertain kids while they brush—and it provides cleaning cues, too. For a more adult option, NPR’s News Now podcast gives you the latest news in five minutes, and it’s updated hourly. 

Smart Smiles

Pilot program brings pediatric oral care to primary care offices. 

Due to a lack of insurance coverage, nearly 35 percent of children in Southwest Virginia do not receive dental care. In response, the Delta Dental of Virginia Foundation awarded the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine $100,000 in 2018 to launch a pilot program integrating oral health care into primary care offices. The Smart Smiles at the Doctor program trains physicians and nurses how to properly perform oral examinations on children and apply fluoride varnishing. 

No More Brace Face

Clear aligners are increasing among teen patients.

Citing the benefits of braces without the look, more teens are opting for clear aligners over traditional braces at the orthodontist. Originally marketed toward adults, brands like Invisalign now produce aligners for children as young as 6 years old. Benefits include increased comfort, fewer repairs (brackets coming loose, etc.), and improved hygiene, as they can be removed to brush or floss. Plus, no braces makes school picture day a lot less stressful. 

This article originally appeared in our August 2019 issue. For more on dental health, click here.

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