One of the greatest things about March Madness is that you don’t have to be a huge college basketball fan to get in on the fun. Kids of all ages can fill out brackets — or have a parent fill one out for them — and watch their picks duke it out on the court. While healthy competition among family members can be fun all on its own, check out the following tips if you’re looking to go the extra mile and reap as much fun from March Madness as you can. MARCH MADNESS FUN FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY WHOSE PICKS WILL GO ALL THE WAY?
ARE YOU GETTING YOUR TEETH CLEANED OFTEN ENOUGH? Are two cleanings a year really enough to ensure your oral health for many years to come? Here’s the short answer: It depends. If you are currently in excellent oral health, don’t have any major risk factors, and have strong oral hygiene habits, then sure, visiting your dentist twice annually can be enough to keep your oral health in tip-top shape. However, in certain scenarios, patients benefit from more-frequent cleanings. In fact, Colgate popularized the idea that you should clean your teeth twice annually. Ultimately, the person most qualified to determine how frequently you need cleanings is your dentist. If you have the right dentist, you know that their goal is to keep your oral health on the right track, and they’d never make a recommendation for you to come in more frequently than you need to or have unnecessary procedures. As a dentist, the very best thing I can do for Anderson Dental Care is build strong relationships with my patients, and an important part of doing that is to keep them happy and healthy by avoiding the unnecessary time, money, and anxiety of major procedures. Even though extra cleanings may seem like the more expensive route in the short term, being proactive about oral health is one of the key ways patients can save money on their dental care. Take, for example, a patient who has strong oral genetics. Even though she’s genetically lucky, she drinks too much coffee, has a stressful job, and is in the habit of grinding her teeth at night. Once her enamel gave out, this young lady got her first three cavities all at once thanks to her coffee habit, stressful job, and forgetting to wear her night guard. Her dentist recommended four cleanings annually so her problem areas could be closely monitored. She agreed and ended up spending a little bit more time and money on cleanings since her insurance only covers two annually. Over the long term, though, she saved both time and money, because cleanings are still cheaper — not to mention more pleasant — than having cavities filled.
TURN EACH GAME INTO AN EVENT.
Not every kid may like watching basketball, but if they fill out a bracket, then they might gain at least a passing interest in who will win each game. To elevate their interest, turn each March Madness matchup into a little party. It doesn’t have to be fancy; make fun snacks to eat while you watch or bet pieces of candy on who will have the most points to create great family bonding opportunities.
REWARD THE WINNERS WITH PRIZES.
Offer prizes to each round winner as well as the overall bracket winner to get the whole family involved. Small prize ideas for each round can include a homemade dinner of the winner’s choice, a week’s supply of their favorite snack, or a coupon for getting out of a chore. Whoever wins the whole tournament (or makes it the furthest with their bracket) deserves a bigger reward. Offer them the chance to see a movie of their choice in theaters or to eat a meal at their favorite restaurant.
CREATE A LEARNING OPPORTUNITY.
Learning math or geography might not sound like your child’s idea of fun, but it can be when they learn it through
the lens of March Madness. See if your kids would be
interested in understanding the inner workings of the ranking system or studying where some of the qualifying colleges are located on a map of the United States. They may find it so interesting that they don’t even realize they’re learning valuable skills.
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