Delta Dental News Room


Ring in the New School Year the Right Way

Delta Dental presents its list of the top five best back-to-school oral health practices


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OAK BROOK, Ill. (Aug 1, 2012) - It may seem like a mindless matter, but packing an apple instead of a sugary snack in a child's lunch this fall can help improve oral health and educational performance. So Delta Dental, the nation's largest dental benefits provider, reminds parents to make good decisions when packing a child's school lunch. After all, children eat more than 20 percent of their meals at school during the academic year.

"Kids should be focused on learning, not on being hungry or feeling tired and sluggish all afternoon" said Dr. Bill Kohn, DDS, DDPA's vice president for dental science and public policy. "Try to limit high sugar drinks and snacks, which are bad for the teeth as well as the rest of the body."

That children in America (especially those from lower income families) suffer from poor nutritional habits is no real surprise. A report from the USDA Economic Research Service claimed that the average child under the age of 12 consumes 49 pounds of sugar per year!

Overconsumption of sugar harms a child's oral and overall health. Snacks like cookies, candy and chewy fruit snacks mix with bacteria in the sticky plaque that constantly forms on teeth to generate acid, which can wear away enamel and cause tooth decay. While sweets may provide a temporary jolt for kids, that sugar rush soon turns into a crash and kids are left feeling lethargic. That is not the kind of mental state kids need to prepare for an afternoon of classes.

Instead, Delta Dental recommends these top five oral health best practices:

About Delta Dental Plans Association
The not-for-profit Delta Dental Plans Association (, based in Oak Brook, IL, is the leading national network of independent dental service corporations. It provides dental benefits programs to more than 59 million Americans in more than 95,000 employee groups throughout the country. For more oral health news and information from Dr. Kohn and DDPA, subscribe to our blog and follow us on Twitter.