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Archive for April, 2014
Wednesday, April 16, 2014

April is National Oral Health Month




April is National Oral Health Month






Brought to you by Prairie Mountain Health




April is National Oral Health Month. ™Most people associate regular brushing and flossing as preventative measures against tooth decay.  But there are other factors that contribute to oral health such as early visits to the dentist and eating well. 




The cost of cavities in children




Every year 19,000 surgeries are performed in Canada to treat cavities in children under the age of six. In Manitoba the average hospital related costs due to cavities for children aged one to four is $2.8 million each year.




Prevention is key




Dental caries can be preventable with early education. The risk of tooth decay is considerably reduced by starting a dental care plan as soon as baby’s teeth break through the gums. Try celebrating baby’s first tooth with baby’s first dental check up. The dental visit would provide an opportunity for dentists to inform caregivers of the factors that lead to tooth decay and ways to prevent it.          




Eating well




It’s known that sugars in the diet contribute to tooth decay. The World Health Organization (WHO) is in the process of finalizing revised guidelines for sugar consumption. WHO is now suggesting no more than 6 teaspoons of sugars each day for healthy adults. The goal for babies and toddlers is to avoid sugars in the diet.        




Sugar consumption includes sugar added to food such as candies and sugar sweetened beverages like pop as well as sugars that occur naturally in honey, syrups and fruit juices.




So what does this mean in practical terms? One can (355 mL) of regular pop contains ten teaspoons of added sugars. One regular sized chocolate bar has approximately eight teaspoons of sugar. You can see how easy it is to go over the suggested amount of sugars!






Tips to eating well




  1. Limit sugar sweetened beverages such as fruit punch, fruit drinks, pop, slushy drinks, flavored water.




  1. Limit 100% juice to ½ cup per day, about one small juice box (1 serving of vegetables and fruit according to the Canada’s Food Guide).      




  1. Avoid treats that blanket the teeth with sugar such as hard candy or lollipops. 




  1. Instead of fruit snacks, fruit roll ups and granola bars for a snack try:




·               Crackers with sliced hard-boiled egg


·               Whole grain cereal with milk


·               Homemade muffin with apple


·               Yogurt tube (try freezing it first for a cold treat)


·               Celery sticks and cheese




To learn more about oral health, talk with your dentist and visit the Canadian Dental Association website at




Reference:  Treatment of Preventable Dental Cavities in Preschoolers: A Focus on Day Surgery under General Anesthesia (October 2013) by Canadian Institute of Health Information.


Posted by Regional Health Authority @ 17:49 | E-mail this blog entry to a friend | PermaLink

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