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Friday Dental Download: February 14, 2014

This week, DentaQuest shares oral health tips with a Tennessee elementary school, CNN reports that dental-related ER visits are on the rise and we discuss what you should do if you chip or bruise a tooth. Have thoughts on today’s news? Join the conversation on Twitter using #FridayDentalDL.

DentaQuest participated in the Blythe-Bower Elementary community health and safety expo to teach children at the school about good oral health habits. Ashley Hathaway from DentaQuest employed “Mojo the monkey,” who shoots toothpaste from his mouth to entertain and educate the kids. She also passed out goodie bags with toothbrushes and two-minute sand timers to encourage children to brush for two minutes, twice a day.

Every day, thousands of people without access to a dentist go to their local emergency room to receive care. Yet most of these facilities do not provide the dental care these patients need. In 2010, more than 2.1 million people, the vast majority of them adults, went to ERs with dental pain, which is double the number just a decade prior, according to the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey. This CNNstory demonstrate show important it is for people receive proper preventative care in in an effort to reduce reliance on emergency care, which can be extremely costly. All Americans deserve dental care, which is why DentaQuest’s mission is to improve the oral health of all.

While watching the Olympics, one can’t help but notice how incredibly dangerous some of the winter events are, especially for teeth! From hockey to skeleton, Olympians put their hearts, souls and teeth on the line for their country. This Wall Street Journal article on what to do if you chip or bruise a tooth is a great resource for anyone- Olympians or mere citizens- who find themselves in that situation.

The American Dental Association has released new guidelines on caring for babies’ teeth; parents should use a tiny smear of fluoride toothpaste to brush baby teeth twice daily as soon as they erupt instead of waiting until children are older. The reason? Since cavities among American children are on the rise, it’s important for parents to get a jump start on preventive oral care. Remember, only the tiniest dab of fluoride toothpaste is enough for your baby.

Happy Valentine’s Day! Learn about the link between oral health and heart health here.