First Steps to a Healthy Smile

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Joan Lunden

Parenting /


A report released by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention shows that the prevalence of cavities in children ages two to five years has increased four percent from a decade ago (24 to 28 percent). In fact, almost 20 percent of children ages 2-3 has at least one untreated cavity.

Tooth decay is the most common chronic childhood disease worldwide, five times more common than asthma. Both the U.S. Surgeon General and Congress acknowledge that this “silent epidemic” in oral health needs to be addressed by parents and healthcare providers. Children in the U.S cumulate more than 51 million school hours each year due to dental illness. Providing parents with resources to teach healthy oral care habits from an early age is an important step in curbing the impact of oral disease on children.

Many of the dental-related illnesses that children develop are easily preventable, provided parents are able to establish proper oral care habits for their children, even before that first tooth comes in. It is important that parents speak to their pediatricians about their children’s oral health and obtain the information they need to create a proper dental routine for their children.

As a mother of seven children, I know the importance of establishing dental routines for our little ones. My husband and I are making sure that our children get off to a good start by teaching them how to brush and care for their teeth, so that they can continue to have a lifetime of happy smiles and good dental health. As children grow, their oral care needs change. That’s why an important first step to those healthy smiles is to choose products that are designed for each stage of your child’s oral care development, such as Oral-B Stages. That’s what our family does, and we are all smiling!

I have partnered over the past several years with Oral-B and the American Academy of Pediatrics in an effort to impress on parents everywhere the importance of starting children’s oral care at an early age. To learn more about how to take care of your children’s teeth, visit the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Categories: Parenting
About The Author
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Joan Lunden truly exemplifies today’s modern working woman. An award-winning journalist, bestselling author, motivational speaker, successful entrepreneur, one of America’s most recognized and trusted television personalities, this mom of seven continues to do it all. As host of Good Morning America for nearly two decades, Lunden brought insight to top issues for millions of Americans each day. The longest running host ever on early morning television, Lunden reported from 26 countries, covered 4 presidents and 5 Olympics and kept Americans up to date on how to care for their homes, their families and themselves.

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