April is Oral Health Month. Time to Brush Up on a Good Habit!
The Public Health Unit is launching a dental health campaign to mark Oral Health Month in April with the clear message "2 for 2 is what you do". The message is simple: brush your teeth twice a day for at least 2 minutes each time. Currently, fewer than 50% of 11-year-old Canadian children meet the recommended time and frequency dental experts advise for brushing your teeth. Ignoring your teeth by not brushing and flossing can lead to cavities and gum disease, which have been linked to other health conditions such as heart disease and stroke, diabetes, pneumonia and other respiratory diseases.
Toothbrushing is one of the most effective ways of removing debris from teeth. Effective brushing takes a minimum of 2 minutes and is recommended twice daily, once in the morning and especially before bedtime. Brushing before bedtime is the most important. Salivary flow is the lowest at night and if food and plaque are left on the teeth they can be converted into acids that cause tooth decay while you are asleep.
It is not necessary to spend a lot of money on home dental care. A soft-bristled toothbrush with a small head is recommended to reach every tooth, especially those at the very back.
When using toothpaste only a small pea-size amount is needed. So a tube of toothpaste should last a long time. Only children over the age of 3 should use fluoridated toothpaste since young children tend to swallow it.
Parents can play an important role in helping to make dental care a part of their child's everyday routine. Remember children will often model their parent's behavior. Setting a positive example will go a long way in promoting good dental habits. Besides encouraging brushing the "2 for 2" way, teaching children about the importance of healthy foods and making regular visits to the dentist will also help.
The “2 for 2” message is within the reach of all children. It is simple and affordable for families and it has significant benefits for both children and adults.
For further information call Public Health at 376-9420 or 1-800-263-3456, or visit our web site at www.publichealthgreybruce.on.ca
- 30 -