Cavities continue to be the leader in diseases that affect the population of young people in this country. Parents, caregivers and teachers can help change that statistic by providing our children with the facts about dental health and teaching them how to achieve it.
There are a number of online sources to help adults find ways to pass information on to their children in a way that will grab their attention and hold their interest. LearntobeHealthy.org for instance, offers lesson plans that include excercises, games and examples of how children can actually have fun while taking care of their teeth and gums.
The Healthy Smiles Healthy Children foundation supports various programs that are set up in communities throughout the country to provide dental treatment for children whose families could otherwise not afford it.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry was founded in 1947 and offers continuing educational programs to pediatric dentists as well as general family practice dentists.
These and other organizations like them are vital to the promotion of good oral health education for children in our cities and in our rural communities. They also offer advice to teachers who are concerned with dental health education. Teachers are figures of authority and have a natural connection with the children that they communicate with on a daily basis during the school year. Who better to get the word out?!
The ADA has put together some ideas that teachers can apply in the classroom to get children to take part in discussions about daily habits that can improve the way they take care of their teeth and gums. Besides regular brushing and flossing, the children are encouraged to talk about the foods that they eat. A teacher may ask her students what kind of foods they think they could eat if they didn’t have teeth. Or, let the children try saying certain words that would be hard to pronounce without the help of their tongue and teeth.