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Community Kids Learn the Importance of Oral Hygiene

Community Kids Learn the Importance of Oral Hygiene

Story by Christina Clarke on 03/13/2019

During the month of February, volunteers from the dental team at U.S. Naval Hospital Naples visited over 1,000 students at Naples Elementary School, The Anglo Italian School, and Froebel to provide oral health education. The students learned an array of dental topics including techniques for brushing and flossing, how to prevent cavities, healthy eating habits, and the importance of regular dental check-ups. The week-long opportunity is part of the American Dental Association’s larger campaign promoting positive attitudes towards oral health known as Children’s Dental Health month; this year’s theme being “Brush and clean in between to build a healthy smile!”

Oral disease can cause pain, affect our ability to eat, how we look and can compromise the ability to learn and be present at school. “Dental cavities occur when bacteria stay on the teeth, producing acids that cause mineral loss over time. It is the most common chronic childhood disease and it can be prevented,” said Captain Willie Chao, Pediatric Dentist.

Learning good oral hygiene habits at an early age and reinforcing them regularly is imperative to a lifetime of oral health. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that the first dental visit should be no later than a child’s first birthday. This enables dental professionals to educate parents on good hygiene practices before oral disease is present.

Tips for a healthy mouth include:
Brushing twice a day and flossing one time a day
Drinking water that contains an optimal fluoride content
Using a rice-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste for children less than 3 years of age and a pea-sized amount for children ages 3-6
Avoid frequent consumption of liquids and/or foods containing sugar
Visit a dentist two times a year for a dental exam
Use an appropriately sized toothbrush that can reach all areas of the mouth and replace it every 3-4 months

If you have an infant, toddler or child and are an eligible beneficiary, please contact the dental clinic at U.S. Naval Hospital Naples to schedule an examination appointment today. We look forward to helping you and your child on the road to optimal oral health. For more information call USNH Naples Dental Department at DSN 629-6007/6008 or commercial 081-811-6007/6008.

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