VANCOUVER, Sept. 30, 2013 /CNW/ - Baby teeth help children eat well, speak clearly and allow adult teeth to grow in properly. Unfortunately, far too many children suffer from dental decay (cavities), a painful, yet preventable disease that can affect the development of a child's permanent teeth and overall health. Starting October, the British Columbia Dental Association (BCDA) challenges parents and caregivers of young children along with school-age children to take a step towards better dental health by participating in the Brush to Win program.
"Brushing is an important habit and one of the simplest ways to keep teeth healthy," says Dr. David Ciriani, president of the British Columbia Dental Association. "This is particularly important in these key primary years as many children can suffer from extensive dental disease affecting their concentration, sleep, confidence and well-being."
According to the Canadian Health Measures Survey an estimated 2.26 million school-days are lost annually due to dental visits or dental sick-days. Dental disease can be prevented by establishing good dental habits early—parents should start to brush as soon as the first tooth appears. While it can be difficult for parents to brush young children's teeth or to get older kids to make this a regular habit, it is extremely important to do so.
"Two minutes of brushing twice a day, along with flossing, can go a long way to fight decay causing bacteria and reduce the risk of cavities," adds Dr. Ciriani. "It is an easy step we can all take to reduce our risk of dental disease."
The Brush to Win program provides brushing tips for parents, teachers and kids along with a small incentive to add an element of fun and encouragement.
Tips to better brushing:
- Brush longer not harder. Brush for at least two minutes.
- Use a soft, age-appropriate toothbrush.
- Use a small amount of fluoride toothpaste. A smear (size of grain of rice) for children under three and a pea-sized amount for children over three.
- Brush at least twice a day. After breakfast and especially before bedtime.
- Lift the lip to clean along the gum line.
- Very young children are not able to manipulate a toothbrush. Brush for them when they are very young and with them as they get older.
- Make brushing fun and create a routine for young children and the entire family.
- Don't forget to floss. Brushing alone only cleans about two-thirds of the tooth.
About Brush to Win:
The Brush to Win program runs from October to March and is open to elementary schools (kindergarten to grade 5) and parents with children under the age of five. Through the program children are encouraged to brush their teeth twice a day for a month (or over several months) and track their progress on a monthly calendar. Parents can also record their progress in brushing for, or with, very young children. Participants who successfully complete the challenge (brush every day) can submit their completed calendar to their teacher or, in the case of parents, directly to the BCDA for a chance to win a prize.
All completed calendars are entered in a random draw. Prizes include piggy banks filled with 30 loonies for elementary school children (two per grade), family dental care packs (a total of five) as well as five school prizes. A number of children's dental health tips sheets, resources and videos are available to support teachers and parents along with some fun activities for the kids. Complete program details and dental resources are available at bcdental.org.
While the program focuses on brushing, there are many factors that can influence dental health, such as flossing, eating nutritious foods and regular dental examinations (starting at age one). Learn more at bcdental.org.
About the British Columbia Dental Association:
The British Columbia Dental Association is the recognized voice of dentistry in this province, dedicated to serving the interests of its members and promoting oral health. There are over 3,000 practising dentists in BC.
SOURCE: British Columbia Dental Association
For further information:
T: 604 736 7202
T: 604 736 7202