NCIS: Los Angeles star Chris O’Donnell and a father of five knows how important tooth delay is.
Tooth Decay is one of the most important and common chronic childhood diseases in America and a result of more that 51 million school hours lost each year. Trident in partnership with Oral Health America’s Smiles Across America program and Chris O’Donnell are teaming up to help fight cavities and address the need for oral disease prevention services. “I think anyone who has kids knows what a chore it is to get them to brush and floss their teeth. My wife and I try to keep up on regular dentists visits but we understand how important dental care is for children in need and I’m thrilled be apart of this program and help bring awareness”
Smiles Across America is a signature program created by Oral Health America, a national non-profit organization dedicated to changing lives by connecting communities with resources to increase access to care, education and advocacy. SAA improves the health of elementary school students by supporting oral disease prevention services in school-based or school-linked settings, and demonstrating to communities that healthy mouths are integral to overall health.
I was even shocked when I read the statistics that tooth decay affects approximately half of all second grades and nearly 80 percent of 17 year olds. If left untreated it can negatively impact a child’s well-being, self-esteem or even concentration level. So what can we do to help? Here’s a few simple tips:
* The foods children consume also can have an impact on oral health. For example, foods such as cheeses, fruits and vegetables can help build strong teeth and gums. On the flip side, overindulging in foods that are sticky or sugary can have a negative impact on teeth and gums. That’s why it’s important to have children floss once a day to remove food and plaque that can get stuck between and on teeth.
* It’s also important that children receive dental check-ups twice a year to ensure that they are taking proper care of their teeth and gums, and have x-rays taken to check for cavities that may not be easily identified.
* Parents can help children take proper care of their teeth by teaching them the correct way to brush. Brushing with a soft-bristle toothbrush on the front, back, inner and outer surfaces, as well as their tongue – with short, gentle back and forth motions – can help children maintain good oral health. It’s important for children to brush at least twice a day for two minutes each time using no more than a pea-size amount or fluoride toothpaste.
* Clinical studies have shown that chewing sugar free gum after meals helps fight cavities. The Trident survey uncovered that less than half (41%) of parents surveyed who believe cavities are preventable know the role that sugarless gum-chewing plays as a cavity-fighting tactic. And of those parents surveyed who allow their children to chew gum, only one-third (34%) say their child’s gum chewing is likely to happen after a meal, when it has the most impact on fighting cavities.
Most people are still surprised that chewing gum can actually help prevent cavities since when most of us were younger we chewed gum full of sugar. But now there are so many amazing sugar free flavors to enjoy. Trident gum has been around for a long time and been a pioneer in providing oral health benefits to consumers. It was the first of its kind to undergo extensive long-term clinical testing in 1967 with studies showing that people who chewed Trident experienced significantly fewer cavities. Most recently, the brand introduced Trident Xtra Care™ with Recaldent®, a great tasting sugar free gum that delivers superior strengthening power versus regular sugar-free chewing gum. Today, Trident is the best selling chewing gum and sugar free gum in the world and a recent study shows that the brand continues to be recommended by four out of five dentists who would recommend sugar-free gum to their patients who chew gum.
O’Donnell recalls “I remember when I was a kid my dad always had this blue pack of Trident in his drawer. Of course I always wanted the Hubba Bubba, but now with so many great flavors out there you don’t feel like you are missing out on anything. And it makes sense after a meal if you don’t have time to brush your teeth it’s better than nothing to just grab that Trident gum.”
Finally and probably the most important thing for parents to remember is to lead by example. If your children see you brushing and flossing they will want to as well. Try to make it a game, reward them, or share your experience as a child. Chris O’Donnell said “I think my kids get a kick out of looking in my mouth because I was the youngest of 7 kids and I think at that point my parents weren’t really checking up on my brushing like they should have, so now I have a mouth full of fillings. The kids think it’s pretty interesting…all the silver in my mouth. I’ve told them some horror stories on getting your teeth drilled and I don’t think they want that. And nowadays if you get the proper care it’ll make a huge difference and that’s what this program is. They have already given out more than a million sealants and they are working on their second million.”
You can give back by purchasing any pack of Trident gum from September 13, 2010 thru September 19, 2010 and five cents per pack will be donated to Smiles Across America.