Treat Your Sweetheart to Good Health This Holiday
LANSING - With the sweetest holiday of the year right around the corner, the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) is encouraging children and parents to be mindful of good oral health when they give and receive valentines this year.
Valentine's Day is Feb. 14, right in the middle of National Children's Dental Health Month. As a child grows, it continues to be important to minimize oral disease for total body health by practicing good oral health habits and treating his or her teeth to healthy alternatives.
"Parents should make sure oral health is a priority because teeth are an important part of a child's jaw and facial development," said Dean Sienko, Interim Chief Medical Executive for the MDCH. "From chewing to talking and smiling, our children's mouths play a vital role in their health and well-being."
Research shows that oral disease has been associated with diabetes, heart disease and stroke. There is also some evidence that poor oral health can lead to pre-term or low-birth weight babies, respiratory problems and osteoporosis. By beginning preventive habits early on, such as drinking fluoridated water, application of dental sealants, brushing and flossing daily, and regular dental visits, we can help our children prevent the pain caused by oral disease.
In addition to good dental hygiene, we can prevent oral trouble by giving sweet alternatives to children this Valentine's Day. Here are some other fun ways to say "Happy Valentine's Day":
- Play a new game, or one of your child's favorites, with them.
- Get a new book or movie and sit down to watch or read with them.
- Make a healthy dinner together with fun red accents.
- Cut their lunch into the shape of a heart.
MDCH encourages everyone to take good care of their teeth this holiday and throughout the rest of the year to enjoy good overall health throughout their lifetime.
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