The National Maternal and Child Oral Health resource center says:
- An estimated 51 million school hours per year are lost due to dental-related illness.
- Children from low income families are at higher risk.
- Early tooth loss from tooth decay can cause speech impairments, absence and inability to concentrate in school and lower self-esteem.
- Toothaches can distract from testing performance, schoolwork, or social skills.
9 Good Dental Health Practices:
- Eat nutritious food instead of those high in sugar
- Have drinking water readily available throughout the day
- Any juice provided is limited to 4-6 ounces and served only in a cup
- Brush after each meal or rinse with water if brushing isn’t possible
- Caregivers should always hold infants when feeding from a bottle—no propping of bottles or sippy cups
- As soon as babies can sit without support, switch from drinking from a bottle to a cup
- Start brushing teeth as soon as first tooth erupts
- To prevent cross contamination, store toothbrushes separately and keep separate toothpaste tubes for each child, or dispense from one large tube onto clean piece of paper to swipe on toothbrush
- Parents’ dental health affects a child’s in multiple ways. Displaying good dental habits in front of children, along with not sharing food or drink will help keep children’s teeth healthy