This post was sponsored by Give Kids A Smile as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.
All children should have the right to grow up happy and healthy. As parents, it’s our jobs to see to that. Sadly, many children today do not receive the proper health care and guidance they deserve. Thankfully, an awesome program called Give Kids a Smile is offering support and guidance to these children.
Give Kids a Smile is celebrating it’s 15th anniversary this year. The program began in 2002 as a one day volunteer to help provide free dental care to over 400 children. The idea took on and the National Dental Association took the lead to help launch this program. Now the program is in all 50 states and reaches more than 5.5 million children.
Why do we need a program like this? Too many children are suffering from tooth decay. In fact, it’s the number 1 chronic infectious disease among children in the US. Tooth decay affects 40% of children aged 2-11 and almost 50% of minority.
In the last 15 years, many health care providers including dentists, hygienists, dental assistants, teachers, parents, and volunteers have given their time and care to provide screenings, education, and dental treatment for those that might not receive them.
Give Kids A Smile Day, Nova Southeastern University College of Dental Medicine, Davie, Fla., February 5, 2016. Photo credit: ADA Foundation
Half of all children enter kindergarten with tooth decay. Children with tooth decay often lead to more absences, lower self-esteem, and have more difficulty paying attention in school. It’s not too late to help! There are so many things we can do to help the children.
As a Mom with 2 young children, I am helping them to brush and floss daily. They see the dentist for checkups yearly and I’m helping to encourage healthy eating. Here are some simple tips to make brushing/flossing more exciting:
- Take the kids to the store and let them pick out their own toothbrush and flossers. If they like it, they are moe inclined to do it!
- Lead by example: Have the kids watch you brush, or brush your teeth with the kids so they can see as adults we need to brush our teeth as well.
- Make it fun! Play music or a special song when brushing.
- Reward! I love to reward for good behavior. Make a simple sticker chart and if the kids do a good job brushing reward with some quarters or a small trinket. Whatever works!
- You can do this too with the children around you! For more information about Give Kids a Smile, find them on Facebook and give them like. For more dental tips check out Healthy Mouth.