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Sunday, January 24, 2010

America's Toothfairy

Even though I know how important it is to get regular cleanings (I go 2x a year) I was a little late getting Kayla started at the dentist ... I knew how much of a fight that was going to be! I think she was 3 when I took her the first time and not much was accomplished!

She's been 3x since we moved here (having an experienced pediatric dentist really helps!) and even though she's yet to get her teeth x-rayed she's at least letting them brush, floss, and fluoridate her teeth. She has no problems brushing her teeth at home (and I follow up by brushing after her) but the whole 'medical type environment' still unnerves her.

Did you know:

- the #1 chronic childhood illness in our country is pediatric dental disease?

- Dental disease is directly correlated with heart disease, stroke, pulmonary disease, and pre-term, low birth-weight babies; it also seriously impacts self-esteem, job prospects and other important aspects of a person’s life.

- Untreated dental disease often results in the need for expensive emergency medical care with the burden of payment passed on to the American public through increased insurance premiums and healthcare costs.

- In 2000, the Surgeon General called pediatric dental disease a “silent epidemic” and in 2003 issued a national call to action to promote oral health.

My mom was a dental hygienist and oral health care is important to me ... which is why I decided to joined up with a team of bloggers to help spread awareness about the National Children's Oral Health Foundation's America's Toothfairy initiative.

Their mission is to eliminate pediatric oral disease and promote overall health and well being for millions of children from vulnerable populations.

If you want some ideas to encourage good oral health care in your child visit the Parent's Corner to get some ideas on fun activities for children and parents.

More information, programs, and contests from America's Toothfairy coming soon!

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SANDY said...

In my growing up years, going to the dentist was something rich people did; unless you had a bad toothache noone went. It was something considered extra, a luxury. What's interesting to me is, kids then seemed far healthier than kids today. There was less absenteeism in schools, kids didn't take medications, and went to the doctors far less. No doubt some has issues that went un-diagnosed; but I don't think it was that prevalent.

Interesting post, but not sure I can wrap my arms around it.


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Lacey said...

You know, I'm terrified of the dentist, and I heard that its the number 1 phobio! I'm one of those naughty people that hasn't been in a while and will need tons of work when I do go. But my boys are a different story. I don't want them to be like me, so I've taken them faithfully every six months. And I'm happy to report one full year of no cavaties for any of the boys!

chelle said...

My kids love going to the dentist. You are right it is all in the dentist how people react to treatment.

Anonymous said...

I actually have to get Gabe back to the dentist for a cleaning! The one thing that was suggested to me was to have Gabe floss. But that's something I don't know if I will ever get him to do!

I had terrible experiences with one dentist in my childhood, and that coupled with no insurance, has made for my poor dental care. However, I admit that I didn't understand or care about my teeth, too. And now I pay the price. I actually had to have a molar removed when I was in my third trimester with Gabriel!

I do think that this is an important issue to be addressed.

Kristin Kenyon said...

Thank you so much for joining the America’s Toothfairy Blogger Team! The comments your readers have already left in response to this post notably illustrate the challenges that NCOHF faces in educating American families about the importance of oral health and the epidemic that is affecting over 4 million children in our own backyard each day. When explaining our Foundation and the work of our Affiliate nonprofit healthcare facilities nationwide, we often get a similar reaction: “so what?” And we understand- children die every day from tragic diseases like cancer and AIDS, and chronic illnesses such as diabetes and asthma can impact kids for life. The difference between pediatric dental disease and these other devastating illnesses?
We have the cure! Pediatric dental disease is not only completely treatable and curable- it is easily preventable as well! With simple oral health educational messages and the proper preventive care- most of which can be done at home- we have the means to completely eliminate pediatric dental disease and children’s needless suffering for future generations. It is a travesty to think that in America, our most common chronic childhood illness is one so easily prevented. Pediatric dental disease is 5 times more common in American children than asthma and 7 times more common than hay fever- two illnesses much more likely to be thought of as prevalent conditions in childhood. Michelle, thank you for giving NCOHF and the at-risk children we serve a voice. Thank you for sharing this important information with your readers and their families. I look forward to working with you to help raise awareness of the importance of oral health for all families and motivating the public to join NCOHF as we fight to eliminate pediatric dental disease for good!

Kristin Kenyon
NCOHF Communications & Development Manager

Jasmine said...

Michelle, thanks for this post. Very informative and helpful. I needed to hear this. Gaby gives me such a hard time with her tooth brushing - that at times I am tempted to put it aside.

Thanks again. Reinforces the "Must" do this even if it kills me. xox (Smile)

Love ya,

Windmills and Tulips

Mary said...

Very cool!

Christina said...

Those are some great tips! I take my kids regularly, but not so much myself :-X

Bailey's Leaf said...

K-'s drug positive birth status translated into teeth problems for her. She's already had to have a root canal. She has several fillings.

It's not because I'm a bad mom.

We keep up on going to the dentist-- no choice.

It is amazing how much prenatal care affects tooth development. We're hoping that K-'s damage is only to her baby teeth and that we can head it off there, so as not to transfer that issue to the adult teeth.

I must add, K- flips out over anything but a tooth cleaning. I will be switching her to a pediatric dentist if further fillings need to be done. They will give her a medication to relax her and she'll be more compliant.

Maybe I should ask for some, too!

Important post. Thanks for sharing!