Oral Health Programs & Resources
Resources for a comprehensive oral health program for children in your community!
Pediatric dental disease, more commonly known as severe tooth decay, is one of the most prevalent chronic, untreated illnesses among children in America. In the U.S. alone:
- More than 25 million children are affected by tooth decay
- 1 in 5 U.S. children go without dental care
- More than 40% of children have dental cavities by the time they reach kindergarten
- Children with poor oral health are 3 times more likely to miss school as a result of dental pain
Left untreated, severe tooth decay can lead to malnourishment, anemia, emergency surgery, life-threatening secondary infections and death. Seriously impacting self-esteem, employment prospects, social development and overall quality of life, untreated tooth decay and gum disease also have a direct correlation to heart disease, stroke, pulmonary disease and pre-term, low birth-weight babies.
Dental disease has a direct link to nutrition as it impacts a child's ability to access nutritious foods. If it hurts when a child eats an apple or chews a carrot, they are far less likely to choose these healthy foods.
However, there is good news. Pediatric dental disease is nearly 100% preventable, and developing positive oral health behaviors in childhood goes a long way in preventing potentially serious health consequences.
America's ToothFairy is partnering with the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) of the USDA to make oral health education and preventive tools more widely available. Oral health is an important element of a child’s overall health. Equally important, research has shown that children in families suffering from food insecurity are more likely to suffer from a wide range of negative health, nutrition, and educational outcomes. USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) is on the forefront of providing nutritious meals to the food insecure and of working to improve the quality of the meals it serves. You can find more about the many nutrition resources available that can help you improve your overall health at FNS’s Get Involved website. It’s important to note that USDA’s 15 nutrition and hunger relief programs place a special emphasis on those Americans traditionally underserved by healthcare programs.
Tips from the ToothFairy
The Kids Club promotes positive oral health habits through fun, online educational activities, tips and letters from the ToothFairy. Free, online activities make it easy for parents, caregivers, or teachers to educate the young children in their lives about positive oral health habits. Register a child or group of children for the Kids Club. Download Kids Club cards to distribute to children in your community.
Oral Health Activities for Kids
Download a booklet of oral health educational activities for kids.
America's ToothFairy Smile Drive
The America's ToothFairy Smile Drive is a national campaign taking place each February, National Children's Dental Health Month, to collect oral care products (toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss and rinse) for at-risk children and teens. The oral care products you collect can be donated to vulnerable children and teens in YOUR community. Please consider joining this fun campaign in 2016! Email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
Downloadable Educational Resources
Other available educational resources are shown below including our ToothFairy 101 5 Core Lessons, activity packets, youth engagement plan, and display boards for health fairs and community events.