(BPT) – Getting children to brush their teeth can be challenging. No parent wants to struggle with a child every morning and night to ensure he or she develops good dental habits and a healthy smile. As a father of two young children, NASCAR Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon understands the challenges that parents and caregivers have in getting kids to routinely practice good dental health habits.
“With good brushing and daily flossing, a smart diet and regular visits to the dentist, all kids can achieve good dental health,” says Gordon. “It’s all about brushing twice a day for two minutes. If we can send kids home from an education event with that message, along with some tips to share with their family members, a great toothbrush, toothpaste and dental floss, we can get them on the right track for a terrific smile.”
Gordon, driver of the No. 24 3M Chevrolet SS has partnered with 3M ESPE Dental, 3M Racing and the American Dental Association (ADA) Foundation to support the ADA Foundation’s Give Kids A Smile program.
Gordon and the Give Kids A Smile program offer tips for kids’ good dental health:
1. Always brush for two minutes, twice a day, every day.
2. The ADA recommends that a child be seen by a dentist as soon as his or her first tooth erupts but at least no later than the first birthday.
3. Help children maintain a lifelong healthy smile by providing them with a well-balanced diet, limiting snacks, ensuring that they brush twice per day and floss once per day, and scheduling regular dental checkups for them.
4. The ADA recommends replacing toothbrushes every three to four months, or sooner if bristles are worn.
5. Flossing removes plaque from between teeth, where a toothbrush can’t reach.
6. Many injuries that occur on a playground, or even while skateboarding, can be prevented by wearing a mouthguard.
7. A dental examination is as important as booster shots and should be a regular part of back-to-school preparation.
8. A painful tooth or chronic dental problem can lead to difficulty eating, speaking, learning and concentrating.
9. Good oral health is part of overall health. The mouth is a window into the health of the body.
10. Frequent snacking or sipping on sugar-containing beverages such as soda, juices, sports drinks – even flavored waters – creates an environment for tooth decay because it exposes your teeth to acid.
Gordon will help share the message about good dental health throughout the year.
3M ESPE, CareCredit, Henry Schein Cares, Church & Dwight and the ADA Foundation will partner with NASCAR and the No. 24 3M team to deliver the message to some 10,000 underserved elementary school children in five NASCAR race markets with fun-filled, high-speed oral health education events featuring the No. 24 3M Chevy SS team and race car. In addition, it will connect with millions more parents and families through dentist offices, health centers and national education outreach. The goals of the program are to eliminate cavities in U.S. five year olds by 2020 and help under-served children learn smart dental health practices that will drive healthy smiles for the rest of their lives.