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FEBRUARY BRUSH UP! For the month of February, we will focus on dental health. The following pages contain verbiage, tips, a printable poster, and other.

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Presentation on theme: "FEBRUARY BRUSH UP! For the month of February, we will focus on dental health. The following pages contain verbiage, tips, a printable poster, and other."— Presentation transcript:

1 FEBRUARY BRUSH UP! For the month of February, we will focus on dental health. The following pages contain verbiage, tips, a printable poster, and other articles and resources that you can reference and share with your co-workers and employees.

2 WHAT AND WHY: Being mouth healthy is essential for good quality of life. Some healthy behaviors — like exercise and nutrition — impact well-being on multiple levels. Dental hygiene is one of those behaviors reflecting physical health, emotional health, and quality of life. Annual dental exams are an important part of oral health, so much so that Gallup includes a question about frequency of dental exams in their national well-being survey. Researchers understand that people who take good care of their teeth feel better about themselves. So, brush up! [Insert information on the activity you are going to do this month and how to start it and/or sign up.] MORE: According to the Center for Disease Control, half of adult Americans over the age of 30 suffer from gum disease, a rate that is higher among men, smokers, those without a high school diploma and people living below the federal poverty level. This increase in periodontal disease is quickly making oral health a public health concern. Dental exams detect systemic illness. Many systemic diseases leave traces in the mouth and may be the first sign of a clinical disease. Oral-facial pain associated with untreated dental problems can occur at any stage of life and is a major source of diminished quality of life, often causing sleep deprivation, irritability, and missed work. It can also interfere with daily functions such as eating, speaking, and social interactions. An annual dental exam is essential to good oral health and can uncover other systemic disease. A U.S. Surgeon General’s recent report concludes that “achieving and maintaining oral health require individual action, complemented by professional care as well as community-based activities.”

3 IDEAS FOR ACTIVITIES: Have each employee schedule their dental exam. Host a lunch and learn using one of the “Life Stages of Oral Health” videos from Delta Dental.

4 ARTICLES: Oral Health: A window to your overall health: health/in-depth/dental/art-20047475 health/in-depth/dental/art-20047475 The Meaning of Oral Health: OTHER RESOURCES: Delta Dental video series: Life Stages of Oral Health Life Stages of Oral Health: Ages 0-3 - Life Stages of Oral Health: Ages 4-12 - Life Stages of Oral Health: Ages 13-19 - Life Stages of Oral Health: Ages 20-35 - Life Stages of Oral Health: Ages 36-64 - Life Stages of Oral Health: Ages 65+ -

5 THE MORE YOU KNOW! 25 TIPS, TIDBITS OF TRIVIA, AND TWEETS ABOUT DENTAL HEALTH. SHARE ONE VIA EMAIL EACH DAY OR POST THEM NEXT TO THE WATER COOLER. 1.Avoid sugary foods. When bacteria in the mouth break down simple sugars, they produce acids that can erode tooth enamel and lead to decay. 2.Replace your toothbrush every 3 or 4 months, or sooner if the bristles are frayed. A worn toothbrush won’t do a good job of cleaning teeth. 3.Help prevent cavities by eating more shiitake mushrooms and wasabi. Both contain compounds that fight plaque- and cavity-causing bacteria. 4.To combat bad breath, consider investing in a tongue scraper, an inexpensive plastic or metal device to remove bacteria from the back of your tongue. 5.For healthy gums, put broccoli on your grocery list. It's an excellent source of vitamin C and provides calcium as well. 6.Brush twice a day and floss daily. 7.In addition to brushing and flossing, rinsing your mouth with an antibacterial rinse can help prevent decay and gum problems. 8.At every age, a healthy diet is essential to healthy teeth and gums. A well-balanced diet of whole foods -- including grains, nuts, fruits and vegetables, and dairy products -- will provide all the nutrients you need.

6 MORE TIPS: 9.Brush immediately after eating or drinking foods that stain teeth. For convenient teeth-cleaning action, eat an apple. 10.Raw carrots, celery, and popcorn are good foods to help clean your teeth. 11.Gargle with apple cider vinegar in the morning and then brush as usual. The vinegar helps remove stains, whiten teeth, and kill bacteria. 12.Once a week, brush your teeth with baking soda to remove stains and whiten your teeth. You can also use salt as an alternative toothpaste. 13.Brush your teeth when you first get out of bed and before you get back in at night. 14.Practice good technique. Hold your toothbrush at a slight angle — aiming the bristles toward the area where your tooth meets your gum. Gently brush with short back-and-forth motions. Remember to brush the outside, inside and chewing surfaces of your teeth, as well as your tongue. 15.Your teeth and gums are made up of calcium, so eating foods such as yogurt, cheese and soybeans will keep your teeth strong.

7 MORE TIPS: 16.Use mouthwash that is alcohol-free. 17.Get enough vitamin C. Diets that are deficient in vitamin C can cause severe dental problems, including loose teeth and bleeding gums. 18.Drinking water is a great way to produce saliva, clear bacteria, and cleanse your oral cavity. 19.Spend at least 3 minutes brushing your teeth twice a day. Use a timer to ensure that you're spending enough time on your oral care routine. 20.Avoid using your teeth for anything other than chewing food. If you use them to crack nuts or rip open packaging, you can chip your teeth. 21.Protect your teeth from injury. Wear a mouth guard or full-face helmet when playing sports.

8 MORE TIPS: 22.Use fluoridated toothpaste. Fluoride helps to harden tooth enamel and reduces your risk of decay. 23.Most experts recommend a dental check-up every 6 months -- more often if you have problems like gum disease. 24.Electric toothbrushes are effective at removing plaque. Those with heads that rotate in both directions and pulsate are most effective. 25.Use your dental insurance. More than 30% of insured Iowans do not visit a dentist. Without insurance? A typical dental exam runs about $150. If this expense is outside your budget, consider contacting your community health center for alternate resources for dental health.

9 APPENDIX: We can’t take all of the credit. In compiling this information, we referenced the following organizations and websites:

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