Imagine this: Children eating one, often 2 meals per day at school without ever flossing or brushing their teeth after.
Join the TeethFirst Revolution to change this.
Join us in moving the model for oral health care upstream where it belongs, starting in elementary schools! Why? Because if we do this, we can eliminate dental disease in children and improve the oral health of everyone in our community. This fact has been proven by some of the most solid scientific research on oral health.
When I moved to the Greater Salt Lake City Area, I learned a new expression: metal mouth. This expression refers to a child with a mouthful of stainless steel crowns and who may also be missing several teeth. There are many of these children in our community, in fact many more than I ever saw before in my 37 year career as a clinical dentist in Canadian working class neighborhoods.
I have been told that this metal mouth trend is an improvement over what was before. I have been told that children used to come to school with big black holes in their teeth… many of them. Sure, stainless steel crowns are better than caries, aka tooth decay… but there has to be a better way.
Almost all children are born with perfect enamel and nearly all tooth decay can be prevented. Why are we seeing so much dental disease? What are we missing?
Searching for the root cause of this problem, I started asking about the context of people’s lives. Where they worked, where they ate, how many times per day they brushed their teeth. It turns out that many adults and children eat many meals away from home. Many of these meals are high carbs. This is especially true for our Hispanic population here who hold more than one job and whose children are offered free and reduced meals at school.
Oral hygiene is the one thing that can make a significant difference. In other words, effectively eliminating the bacteria with proper flossing and brushing after meals is the key for breaking the above equations down to:
Here are 2 interesting and important facts. First, our current oral hygiene model is designed around the home bathroom. There is no model for oral hygiene after meals consumed away from home, at school, at work, on the road. Second, oral health education is almost exclusively offered in dental offices and clinics, leaving out the millions of people who can not afford to go to the dentist.
Oral health is not just a personal responsibility, it is a common good. In recognition of this important fact, TeethFirst focuses on moving the model of oral health care upstream, where it belongs. Our mission: “Making Oral Hygiene as Accessible as Hand Hygiene”. We will do this first in schools with innovative solutions that make flossing and brushing in the classroom a breeze.
Now TeethFirst wants to mobilize the forces to implement this solution because all children deserve this kind of oral health support. Let’s make Park City the HUB for change in oral health! Join the TeethFirst revolution in “Making Oral Hygiene as Accessible as Hand Hygiene”. Support the integration of daily oral health practices and education in the classrooms of our elementary schools. Together we can free the children from dental disease.