Blog Archive - February 2009
February 28, 2009
Here it is the last day of February and I am finally acknowledging National Childrens Dental Health Month. It is certainly not because I don't think this is an important focus of our attention on infection prevention! February was designated as National Childrens' Dental Health Month 60 years ago by the American Dental Association to raise awareness of the importance of oral health among children and their parents. It wasn't until afew years ago when I began creating the nanobugs, that I made the connection that dental caries (cavities) were the product of an infection. The pathogen (disease-producing microbe) is exclusively Streptococcus mutans. The infectious process goes like this: Streptococcus mutans is a bacterium that is commonly found in the mouth and it lives and grows in acid conditions where other bacteria cannot. Acid forms within 20 minutes after eating and it begins attaching to the outer surface of the tooth and ultimately creating tiny openings in the tooth surface called "cavities. Since Strep mutans has an ability to stick on the teeth - brushing and flossing are needed to get rid of the plaque and bacteria. This is why dentists stress the importance of brushing and flossing between the teeth 2-3 times a day, especially after meals. Since we only get one set of permanent natural teeth, it is important that we focus upon brushing and flossing as critical elements of infection prevention. Parents must train children in these important activities of daily living and role model these behaviors to maintain good dental health. Lest we forget to go to the sink and brush, Nanobugs, inc. created a "static cling" that can be easily placed on the bathroom mirror or ceramic tile to stimulate and remind kids (and their parents) to brush and floss. Wearing a temporary tattoo of Streptococcus mutans can also serve as a friendly reminder. Or try sending a toothbrush to school in the lunch box. Moms- If you leave a $1 “tip” in the tip jar on the nanobugs website and provide your name and address on “comments”, we will send you 5 Strep mutans temporary tattoos and the static cling device. See if you can change behaviors in your household with these compliance aids.