Save Your Teeth/Save Your Body

Did you know that obesity and oral health are linked?

children-brushing-teeth

Let’s Learn More…

  • Dental caries, also known as tooth decay or cavity, is the single most common chronic infectious disease among children. (1)
  • Childhood obesity is currently the most prevalent nutritional condition of children in the U.S and is increasingly being cited as a growing epidemic and public health crisis. (2)
  • Caries goes beyond pain and infection; Caries can affect speech and communication, eating and dietary nutrition, sleeping, learning, playing and quality of life, even into adulthood. (1)
  • Both, caries and obesity, negatively affects children’s growth and development.
  • Both are complex conditions with multiple contributing factors: biological, genetic, socioeconomic, cultural, dietary, environmental, and lifestyle (2)
  • High level of caries is positively interrelated with obesity and poor dietary habits. (1)
  • Children at risk of being overweight generally had higher caries than their normal weight peers. (2)
  • The school-age period from childhood to adolescence is a critical life stage when health and oral health behaviors develop. (1) 

Fun & Shocking Facts

  • Children have the right idea about smiling – they smile about 400 times a day.
  • People who drink 3 or more glasses of soda each day have 62% more tooth decay, fillings and tooth loss than others. Put down the pop and sports drinks and pick up some nice fresh water instead.
  • The plaque found on your teeth is home to more than 300 different species of bacteria. Listerine, anyone?
  • The average person spends about 48 seconds per day brushing their teeth, but dentists recommend at least 2 or 3 minutes.
  • Poor gum health increases your risk of developing dementia by almost 30% to 40%.
  • Kids who are obese have nearly twice the risk of having three physical, mental, or developmental problems compared to normal-weight children.
  • One fast food hamburger contains meat from up to 100 different cows.

How to Lower the Risk of Caries and Obesity

  • Brush at least twice a day, after breakfast and before bedtime.
  • Brush all your teeth, not just the front ones.
  • Brush your tongue to keep your breath fresh.
  • Use a pea-sized amount of a fluoride toothpaste and fluoride mouth rinse.
  • Use only toothbrushes with soft bristles.
  • Spend at least 2-3 minutes each time you brush.
  • Floss once a day.
  • Visit the dentist twice a year.
  • Watch sugar intake.
  • Eat lots of fruits and veggies.
  • Drink water instead of soda and fruit juices.
  • Eat breakfast daily.
  • Don’t forget to smile!

Here are some more great resources:

Taking Care of Your Teeth

REFERENCES 1. Cinar, A. & Murtomaa, H. (2011). Interrelation between  obesity, oral health and life-style factors among Turkish school children. Clin Oral Invest, 15:177–184. DOI 10.1007/s00784-009-0368-z.  2. Hong, L., Ahmed, A., McCunniff, M., Overman, P., Mathew, M. (2008). Obesity and dental caries in children aged 2-6 years in the United States: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999-2002. Journal of Public Health Dentistry, 68:4, 227-233.

Content compiled and page designed by: Deborah Ebrahemi, 2013 L.A. Trust Intern
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