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:

  1. Eat nutritious food instead of those high in sugar
  2. Have drinking water readily available throughout the day
  3. Any juice provided is limited to 4-6 ounces and served only in a cup
  4. Brush after each meal or rinse with water if brushing isn’t possible
  5. Caregivers should always hold infants when feeding from a bottle—no propping of bottles or sippy cups
  6. As soon as babies can sit without support, switch from drinking from a bottle to a cup
  7. Start brushing teeth as soon as first tooth erupts
  8. 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
  9. 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