The Cayuga County Health Department, Cayuga Community Health Network, East Hill Family Medical and Genesee Elementary School have teamed up to offer the Brush to Crush Cavities program to all students in grade kindergarten through six at Genesee Elementary.
This is our second year offering this program to the students at Genesee Elementary. This initiative incorporates oral health education, dental screenings, referral for treatment, follow-up care and, most importantly, the daily in-school brushing campaign.
This oral health initiative is not funded through a grant and functions solely on the generosity of community members, local businesses and organizations that recognize the need for this program and have made donations to continue this program.
This initiative would not have been possible without the generous donations and support from the following community organizations and individuals.
Thank you to these agencies whose monetary donations were greatly appreciated:
• Xylem Inc. (formerly ITT Corp/Goulds Pumps)
• Lansing Trade Group
Also, we would like to recognize the generosity of the following organizations and individuals whose donations of supplies were greatly valued and needed:
• Lifetime Care and Lisa Gabel
• Patterson Dental through East Hill Family Medical
• United Health Care and Jolene Stoutenger
• Beautiful Smiles CNY, Dr. Nangle and Dr. Ohnezeit
• Lesch & Lesch Family Dentistry
• Simmonds, Brady & Loi
• Skaneateles Dental Associates
• Kinney Drugs on State Street
• Kinney Drugs on Owasco Street, and Vin Gleason
• Cayuga Community Health Network
Each February, the American Dental Association (ADA) sponsors National Children’s Dental Health Month to raise awareness about the importance of oral health.
Parents, teachers, community members and local dentists can work together to teach children the importance of developing good oral health habits at an early age.
Here are some tips to keep your child’s teeth healthy:
• Clean your baby’s gums with a clean, damp cloth.
• Don’t put your child to bed with a bottle, or let them fall asleep while nursing.
• Take your child to the dentist by age 3, unless there is a problem.
• As soon as teeth come in, teach your child how to use flossers, which are specially designed for little hands.
• Brush your teeth with your child. Remember to use just a pea-sized dab of fluoride toothpaste.
• Help your child eat healthy foods. Limit sugary or starchy snacks, soda or juices.
• Don’t wait until your child is in pain or has a problem before seeing the dentist. Keeping regular appointments will help ensure that such pain or problems don’t happen.
• Ask your dentist about sealants, a cost-effective way to prevent cavities.
• If your child is playing sports, have your dentist make a mouthguard for your child.
• The use of fluoride is another proven and healthy way to prevent tooth decay. Some communities have fluoride in their water. Cayuga County does not have fluoridated water, which is why it is important that parents check with their dentist about fluoride treatment options for their children.
If you do not have dental insurance, don’t worry. There are agencies in Cayuga County that offer dental services to the uninsured on a sliding fee scale: American Mobile Dental (515-3015); East Hill Family Medical (255-9294); and Port Byron Community Health (776-9700).
And remember, children’s teeth are meant to last a lifetime. A healthy smile is important to a child’s self-esteem. With proper care, a balanced diet and regular dental visits, their teeth can remain healthy and strong.
For more information, visit the New York State Dental Association website at www.nysdental.org or The American Dental Association website at www.ada.org.
Elane Daly is director of health and human services for Cayuga County. She can be reached at 253-1560 or email@example.com