Illinois Department of Public Health promotes oral health during
National Children's Dental Health Month
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[February 25, 2014]
SPRINGFIELD — In recognition of
National Children's Dental Health Month, the Illinois Department of
Public Health is encouraging parents and caregivers to plan dental
visits and discuss the importance of good oral health for their
"One reason children miss school is due to dental neglect. National
studies show that 51 million school hours (around 10 million school
days) are lost every year due to dental problems. Dental problems
can affect a child's ability to speak and learn, as well as their
self-esteem," said IDPH Director LaMar Hasbrouck. "Healthy teeth are
an important part of overall health, and I encourage parents to take
this opportunity to teach their children good oral health habits
they can use throughout their lives."
Primary, or baby teeth, are
just as important to keep clean, healthy and cavity-free as
permanent, or adult, teeth. Primary teeth act as space holders until
permanent teeth come in. If primary teeth are lost early due to
cavities, the remaining teeth can move, which causes problems when
permanent teeth are ready to come in.
"Dental cavities are preventable," said Dr. David Miller, chief
of the IDPH Division of Oral Health. "However, cavities left
untreated can cause infections (that) can spread to the rest of the
body and be life-threatening.
IDPH offers the following tips to promote good oral health:
Clean teeth with a
soft, clean cloth or a baby's toothbrush.
babies to bed with a bottle.
Check teeth regularly for spots and
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Toddlers to teens
Brush teeth with a
fluoride toothpaste, and floss between teeth.
Eat healthy foods
and limit sweet snacks and drinks, including power drinks.
Schedule regular dental checkups.
For more information, visit
Providing educational health information is one way the Illinois
Department of Public Health is working toward becoming the state's
leading public health authority and implementing the department's
five-year strategy. For a copy of the strategic plan, go to
Illinois Department of Public
Health file received from the
Illinois Office of Communication and Information]