As the old saying goes: “an apple a day keeps the doctor away!” Well, what about this one: “brushing your teeth two times a day keeps the cavities away!” February is National Children’s Dental Health Month and since it’s only two months into the new year, it’s a good time to establish and maintain good dental hygiene.
According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, tooth decay affects more than one-fourth of U.S. children aged 2 to 5 years and half of children aged 12 to 15. Untreated tooth decay can cause poor appearance, illness, and a great deal of pain.
What Can You Do to Help the Kiddos?
Teaching your children to brush two times a day and floss once a day will create healthy habits as they head into adulthood. Limiting their sugar intake will not only help with a child’s weight, but will also prevent dental related problems, such as decay, which is created by acetic foods and liquids.
As we all know, gum with sugar in it can create cavities, however sugarless gumtastes just as good and won ‘t deteriorate your teeth. The best part is chewing sugarless gum can help keep the bacteria out of your mouth, and it will pull the sugar away from your teeth, therefore keeping everything cleaner between brushings. Check out this MouthHealthy.org quizon the power sugarless gum really has.
Another way to help children is to make sure they are getting enough fluoride. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has praised water fluoridation as one of the “ten great public health achievements of the 20thcentury.” According to an article from The Colorado Trust, as of 2012, an estimated 72 percent of Coloradans served by public water systems use fluoridated water.
It’s important to educate kids on why we brush our teeth. Here are some great questions to ask your kiddos:
- Do you know why we need teeth?
- Do you know why you lose teeth?
- Do you know why it is important to floss your teeth?
- Do you know how long you are supposed to brush?
Getting children involved in their health in a fun way to helps them to be more excited about owning their health. Here are some great crafts to help inspire them to take care of their teeth:
Be Aware of Your Overall Health in February
In addition to February being National Children’s Dental Health Month, it is also American Heart Month. There is tie between the two, one benefiting the other. Taking care of your teeth not only keeps your pearly whites healthy, but believe it or not, it also helps with your overall heart health.
According to the Mayo Clinic, some research has found that heart disease, clogged arteries and stroke may be linked to the oral bacteria in the mouth and that which is swallowed. The best way to protect your overall health by taking care of your teeth is to brush at least twice a day, floss daily, eat healthy foods, replace your toothbrush every 3 months and visit your dentist regularly.
Take this Oral Health Quiz to test your knowledge, and then share your dental health awareness with us on Facebook. And make sure to attend a spring 9Health Fair to check on your overall health. Check our website for dates and locations; you don’t want to miss the opportunity to make sure your numbers are where they need to be.