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With it being Children's Dental Month, we are excited to learn about a new educational campaign from the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) called the Monster-Free Mouths Movement. Through this campaign parents and caregivers can find tips and tools to teach their children about their teeth in a fun way, including the whimsical Mouth Monsters characters – Tartar the Terrible, Tooth D.K. and Ginger Bite- as well to learn more about the dangers of early childhood tooth decay. This also includes the importance of bringing kids to dentist before they turn one as to avoid tooth decay, which is also the number one chronic infectious disease among children in the US according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
To better understand the Monster-Free Mouths Movement, we chatted with mom and fashion mogul, Rosie Pope who shared her own dental healthy habits and why this movement is so important to her.
Momtrends: How did you get involved in the Monster-Free Mouths Movement?
Rosie Pope: As a busy mom and frequent advisor to parents, children’s health is a top priority of mine - and that includes dental health. By partnering with the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) on the Monster-Free Mouths Movement we are raising awareness about the importance of taking children to the dentist early to prevent tooth decay – a serious chronic infectious disease that’s nearly 100 percent preventable. But many parents – like me with my first child – simply do not know their child is susceptible to infection or tooth decay as soon as the first tooth comes in. This is why it is necessary that parents and caregivers bring children to the pediatric dentist by age 1. Pediatric dentists have 2-3 years of special training after dental school to ensure a child’s visit is a fun adventure that they can look forward to every six months. WE need to start thinking about the Pediatric Dentist like we do the Pediatrician and not only go when there is a problem but start to go for “well” check ups too. That way we can prevent problems in the future and teach our children healthy habits.
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Momtrends: What are your tips to get your kids to brush their teeth?
Rosie Pope: One of the most important things you can do to ensure good oral health is to make dental hygiene routines fun. Kids like having a choice – so the next time you are at the pharmacy or grocery store, let them pick out their next toothbrush with their favorite color and cartoon characters. AAPD has made it easy on parents to explain the importance of brushing and flossing by referring to the germs in their mouths as Mouth Monsters. That way children can understand better what they are doing and why they are doing it and help you with the process. Check out http://www.mychildrensteeth.org/mouth_monsters/ for more information and to download the Mouth Monsters Defense Kit which has certificates, posters and a daily brushing tracker to make brushing and flossing a fun activity to fight Tartar the Terrible, Tooth D.K. and Ginger Bite-Us .
Momtrends: What are some of the dangers of tooth decay?
Rosie Pope: Through my participation in the Monster-Free Mouths Movement, I learned that tooth decay is the number one chronic infectious disease among kids in the U.S., and nearly 60 percent of American kids are experiencing tooth decay by age 5! It poses an immediate and long-term threat to their health, as pain and infections caused by untreated tooth decay can lead to difficulty chewing food and speaking, as well as tooth discoloration and premature tooth loss. Tooth decay can also cause lasting harm to a child’s oral and general health, as well as social and intellectual development. Prevention and checkups by the age of 1 are so important because infants with tooth decay are far more likely to develop oral health issues as they grow older. We always try to prevent and treat infection in our children in other parts of their body so why should the teeth be any different?
Momtrends:What are your favorite oral care brands for your kids?
Rosie Pope: I’ve found that fun colored toothpaste and toothbrush stickers are a great incentive for my three kids to brush their teeth. I try and make buying them as much as a fun treat as possible and get them really excited about the experience. The removable stickers are particularly cute as they allow them to switch their favorite characters that they brush with daily. My children also enjoy picking out different flavors and colors of toothpaste – I let them have free reign among the brands that have the American Dental Association’s Seal of Acceptance. Flossing has been especially tricky for them to get the hang of, but I have found that the floss pics and floss handles made specifically for kid’s smaller hands make it much easier for them to get in between those cute little teeth! Also, I try to encourage electrical toothbrushes for my youngest because they feel good on their teething gums and I find it allows me to brush their teeth for longer.
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