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News in Youth Services

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Let's See That Beautiful Smile

It's always important to take care of your teeth!  As a child, they fall out and we get those great visits from the Tooth Fairy.  But that is the only time we want our teeth to fall out.  Did you know that American students miss 51 million hours of school each year due to oral health problems?  This means children are missing critical instruction time and can lead to lower literacy skills and grades. 

The American Dental Association and the National Education Association are joining together to raise awareness about the importance of good oral health.  Parents and children are encourage to brush their teeth for two minutes, twice a day and read for 20 minutes to help build good oral health and literacy habits. 

Open Wide: Tooth School Inside by Laurie Keller presents information about the care of teeth and discusses what to expect at a dental visit, all told in a picture book format.  The fun part is that the teeth are the students!

 There are some fine science experiments you can conduct at home too around dental health.  One shows how much sugar are in sugary beverages such as soda.  A new one to me is on flossing using peanut butter.  Check them out. 

Here are some fun facts about dental health:

1.  If you brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time, you will brush your teeth for about 24 hours each year, or 76 days over the course of your life!  All this brushing will use about 20 gallons of toothpaste.

2.  In China, they celebrate national "Love Your Teeth Day" each year on the 20th of September.  To
promote dental health, a Chinese dentist used 28,000 teeth to build a giant tooth-shaped tower.

3.  If you had a toothache in Germany in the Middle Ages, you would have been told to kiss a donkey to cure your toothache!

4.  Most Americans did not brush their teeth every day until after World War II.  In WWII, the military required soldiers to brush their teeth twice a day in order to keep healthy teeth.  The soldiers brought home that habit after the war.

5.  Toothpaste was used as long ago as 500 BC in China and India.  Ancient toothpastes included ingredients such as soot, honey, crushed egg shells and ground ox hooves (YUCK!).  In 1873, Colgate released the first commercially prepared toothpaste, which had the minty taste we know today.

Come in and check out some great nonfiction books about dental health.  Or it's always fun to read a good picture book  or easy reader with a healthy message about good dental hygiene. 

Books about Oral Health
NEA Dental Health Resources
American Dental Association Resources

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