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12 - September 10, 2010 Salem Community Patriot

submitted by Dr. Manuel J. Sousa, Salem Centre for Orthodontix

October is National Orthodontic Month, so I thought

I would like to submit this article to more fully explain: The Benefits of Orthodontics

“My smile has become my calling card. It is, after all, the most potent weapon I possess. My smile has the strength to forge bonds, break ice, and calm storms. I will use my smile constantly … The power of who I am is displayed when I smile.”

Andy Andrews

It’s a common assumption that orthodontic treatment is performed merely for the esthetic improvements of straighter teeth. Esthetics is an important component in considering orthodontic treatment, and facial appearance can certainly be improved as the result of creating a harmonious relationship between the

Well Care Well Care

by Cindy Jury, M. Ed., Executive Director, Salem Family Resources-Success By 6 Getting a child “ready” for kindergarten is a tall order. So much happens in the early development of a child that will influence school success. How well children learn and develop and how well they will do in school depends on a number of factors: the child’s health and physical well-being; social and emotional preparation; language skills; and general knowledge of the world. Parents are a child’s first and most important teacher. While the responsibility

for a child’s success and education rests heavily on parents in the early years, parents can enlist the help of early childhood educators to provide additional learning opportunities in a variety of programs, ranging from full-day child care and half-day pre-school to story hours and facilitated playgroups. Salem Family Resources offers Parenting & Play Groups, a program that

involves parents in fostering their children’s readiness skills. Parents and their children meet with a group leader for fun, age-appropriate children’s learning activities that foster the skills necessary for school readiness and future school success. Knowledge of child development and age-appropriate expectations are critical for parents and educators. Child development guidelines are readily available and should include a range of expectations within each age group. It is important to remember that each child is unique in his/her development. However, if a child’s development in any area is too far outside of standard guidelines, it is recommended that the child be screened or evaluated to determine their developmental progress. Parents need to be realistic about their child’s abilities and interests. Set high standards and encourage children to try new things. Children who aren’t challenged become bored. Conversely, trying to force a skill when a child is not developmentally ready, or asking children to do things that don’t interest them will only frustrate them, their parents, and caregivers. Therefore, the responsibility of parents and educators is to meet

children where they are and move them forward. Parents can assist in school readiness by seeing to it that their

child has nutritious food, enough exercise, and regular medical care.

Social and emotional preparation is the single most important factor for any child’s future success, regardless of skills, abilities, and exposure to learning activities. Children need opportunities to develop confidence, self-control, resiliency, independence, cooperation, and curiosity. Parents and educators assist children in achieving these qualities

by using appropriate discipline methods. Parents and early educators must: • Provide clear limits and consistent routines; • Be respectful and set good examples; • Offer choices whenever possible, within acceptable limits (not “Do you want to wear a sweater?” but “which sweater do you want to wear ... blue or red?”);

• Encourage and reinforce preferred behaviors. Be genuine and specific (“You worked hard to make that block building!” or “You used all of the blocks!”);

• Encourage emerging independence whenever possible. Plan extra time for getting dressed and their help with real household/school tasks;

• Engineer success with clear and age-appropriate expectations, organization for clean up, and other chores;

• Criticize behaviors, not the whole child: “It’s not okay for you to draw pictures on the walls. Drawing is on paper.”

• Plan ahead for consequences for non-preferred behaviors; o Logical consequences – “You did not pick up your toys; they are not available for the rest of the day/week.”

o Natural consequences – “You did not pick up your toy and the dog ate it.”

•Follow through! Say what you mean; mean what you say. Keep discipline techniques and consequences simple and limited to only those you can and will maintain. Language and general

knowledge are also important to school readiness. Children can develop language skills only if they have many opportunities to talk, listen, and use language to solve problems and learn about the world.


Read aloud to children every Give children opportunities to

play. Play is how children learn and solve problems. Playing with others helps children learn how to negotiate. Provide opportunities for children to do and see new things. Parents and early educators

play a vital role in fostering readiness to learn and school success for our children. These early investments will pay off for all of us long into the future.

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teeth, jaws, and face. As the opening quote suggests, people who are happy with their smile are more confident with themselves and with the people around them. It is no wonder that parents want to provide their children with the best chances of success and that adults seek treatment for personal and business reasons. A smile you can be proud of is an obvious benefit of orthodontic treatment; however, there is more to orthodontics than straight teeth. Orthodontic treatment can also help alleviate a host of other dental problems. Beyond the cosmetic advantages of straight teeth, there are important medical benefits as well. Properly aligned teeth and jaws may alleviate or prevent physical health problems. Straight teeth are less prone to decay, to developing periodontal (gum) disease, and decreasing risk of injury. The latest research has

healthy body, mind, and spirit.

linked periodontal inflammation to an increased risk of heart disease. When teeth are properly aligned, it is easier to keep them clean. Straight teeth collect less plaque, which is a risk factor for periodontal disease. Protruding upper teeth are more likely to be broken in an accident, so repositioning and aligning them with other teeth can result in a decreased risk for fracture. Untreated orthodontic problems may lead to tooth decay, periodontal disease, and digestive difficulties. Misaligned teeth can also cause abnormal wear of tooth surfaces, inefficient chewing, and stress on gum tissue

and the bone that supports the teeth. In extreme cases, misalignment of the jaw joints can result, sometimes leading to chronic headaches or pain in the face or neck. Facial appearance, as well as jaw function, is improved as the result of creating a

Parents Set the Stage for School Readiness

Additional information on school readiness is available from the U.S. Department of Education ( and NH PIRC, Parent Information and Resource Center at Child Developmental Milestone guidelines and information about

Developmental Screenings and Parenting & Play Groups are available at www. “Family Resource Corner” offers topics of interest on parenting and family issues and is provided by Salem Family Resources-Success By 6. This non-profit organization provides support and programs to families in the greater Salem area to help them meet the physical, social, emotional, and educational needs of their young children. For more information about the organization and its programming, or to suggest a topic of interest to families, contact us at info@ salemfamily or 898-5493.

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harmonious relationship between the teeth and jaws. Early prevention may be less costly than the dental care required to treat more serious problems that can develop in later years. So, orthodontic treatment can mean more than just a great smile. And that’s something you can smile about! To learn more about orthodontics, visit us at www., and don’t forget to ask your orthodontist about National Orthodontic Month.

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