Fifty-one million. That is the number of classroom hours missed by grade school children each year because of oral health-care issues. In fact, according to the Center for Disease Control, tooth decay is five times more prevalent than asthma. So what can you do to ensure that your child doesn’t become part of an overwhelming oral statistic? Here are some tips from the nation’s best, Fern Ingber, CEO and president of the National Children’s Oral Health Foundation:
- Lessons learned are lessons lived. According to Ingber, “The lessons that kids learn now are the lessons that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.” By helping your child to develop good oral health habits early in life, you are ensuring their health for years to come.
- Nutrition is necessity. Just because your kids develop good oral habits does not mean they can eat anything they want. Nutrition is vital, and there is a difference between tooth-friendly foods and non-tooth-friendly foods.
- Parents beware. Oral bacteria are transferable, and most people don’t realize that if a mother has periodontal disease, it can be spread. Do not share food with your kids as your own oral shortcomings can be transferred to your children.
- Find friendship in health. Make sure that children become partners in their oral health at a very young age and that they visit an oral health care provider by age 1.
- Further the partnership by encouraging your child to become immersed in health care. Check out some of the latest dental products that help make oral health exciting, including Inspector Hector and Tooth Fairy Island developed by Vi-Jon and the National Children’s Oral Health Foundation.