Time to Catch up on regular Eye, Dental and Medical Exams
Many families may be playing catch up with their regular visits to the dentist, eye doctor, and family physician after the delays caused by COVID-19. To avoid the back-to-school rush amid summer vacations, camps, and activities, Delta Dental of Iowa encourages families to contact their health providers now to schedule those dental appointments, eye exams, school physicals, and wellness exams.
In Iowa, there are several grade-based requirements for children, according to the Iowa Department of Public Health. These required exams are essential to create a baseline for your child as well as rule out any existing medical issues. Creating a routine for your child with your dentist, eye doctor, and family medical provider establishes a positive relationship and provides an opportunity to ask questions about your child’s health.
What is required?
The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) requires a few milestone health appointments for students in Iowa schools.
- Dental screening: Children entering kindergarten and ninth grade in Iowa schools are required to have a dental screening. The Iowa Department of Public Health Certificate of Dental Screening form must be completed and signed. Taking care of this appointment during the summer saves time out of school and avoids unplanned time away from work for caregivers if an emergency occurs.
- Vision screening: Students must have an eye exam at least once before kindergarten and again before third grade. After the massive increase in screen time required by online learning in 2020-21, students may be experiencing eye strain. Vision screenings help to spot potential issues and identify if any corrective lenses or therapies are needed as the student is learning to read, write and work with others. Visit the IDPH website for more information on this screening.
- Sports physicals: Students in grades 7-12 who participate in Iowa school-sponsored sports are required to obtain a medical provider’s signoff on a sports physical. This standard form walks the provider through a series of questions with your student and provides an opportunity to ask questions about their health.
What is recommended?
Thinking back over the last school year or two, your child may have missed a few regular dental, vision, or wellness checkups. Not only can these appointments help spot potential health issues, but they also provide a chance to ask questions and track growth. Delta Dental and DeltaVision provide these recommendations to ensure your child has the healthiest start to the school year.
- Dental sealants – this is a quick, painless, and easy treatment that helps protect new molars from tooth decay.
- Custom-fitted mouthguards – children who participate in sports may avoid injuries to their teeth, mouth, tongue, and jaw by using a custom-fitted mouthguard. The average cost of teeth knocked out can range from $10,000 to 20,000 per tooth.
- Sports goggles – Wearing eye protection can help participants avoid up to 90% of sports-related eye injuries according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Speak to your eye doctor at your child’s appointment about their activities and to see if they recommend eye protection.
- Screen time discussion – Whether your child is still learning online or is back in the classroom full time, kids today spend a lot of time on screens. It’s a good idea to talk to your optometrist about how to give eyes a break from screens and how to watch for signs of eyestrain in your child.
We’re all catching up on family time, fun activities, and important appointments now that COVID-19 restrictions have eased in Iowa. Take the time today to schedule your catch up appointments with your dentist, eye doctor, and medical provider for back-to-school appointments so you can enjoy all this summer has to offer.