Brushing Twice a Day Keeps Decay Away – National Children’s Dental Health Month

By Zuryna Smith, System Communications Intern

Little boy teethNational Children’s Dental Health Month was introduced by the American Dental Association as a way to provide crucial information regarding oral health in children.

It started as a one-day event in Cleveland. As the importance of the issue of oral health became more prevalent, the one-day event spanned across a week and eventually became a month-long event that garnered global attention.

The ADA provides health fairs, free dental screenings, and other activities that promote the adoption of healthy oral health techniques.  This year’s campaign slogan is entitled “Sugar Wars,” a spin on the sci-fiction film Star Wars.

Tooth decay and loss is one of the main oral health issues that affect children. Preventative care is the only way to deter the loss of teeth. The rule of thumb is to brush two times a day for two minutes each time. In addition to proper brushing techniques, parents should be vigilant in their efforts to keep their children’s teeth shiny and healthy.

Here are a few tips that will encourage healthy dental habits:

  • Emphasize the importance of fluoride. Fluoride is a natural chemical that prevents decay and strengthens the enamel of teeth. It can be found in tap water and is also available as a supplement.
  • A healthy and balanced diet is a necessity in order to prevent tooth decay. While starches and fruits are essential to a child’s diet, certain foods need to be given in moderation. Starchy and sticky foods tend to stay on the child’s teeth and cause cavities as well as decay.
  • Daily cleaning should take place as soon as the child develops their first tooth. A small piece of gauze or a damp cloth can be used to clean the tooth. As the child gets older a toothbrush with a small amount of fluoride toothpaste should be used.

Dental sealants are another method of prevention for young children. Dental sealants are small, plastic coatings that cover the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. It helps to prevent excess food and germs from getting caught in the crevices of the teeth.

Childrens teeth

University of Maryland School of Dentistry students participated in an outreach program where they provided free sealant treatments to children in need at the Perryville Clinic. The overall purpose of the event was to provide assistance and education to those who would not normally have access to proper dental care providers.

For more information about an upcoming Sealant Saturday event please contact the Perryville Clinic at 410-706-4900.

Pediatric Dental Appointments are available at the University of Maryland Pediatric Dental Clinic by calling 410-706-4213. You can also search for a Dental Health provider by using our website.

Take a Loved One to the Doctor Day 2011

By Sharon Boston
Media Relations Manager

On Friday, September 30, a trip to the doctor may seem a walk in the park, particularly when “Take a Loved One to the Doctor Day” takes over the park in front of the Medical Center from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) puts a unique twist on this national campaign, bringing our medical experts to a free health fair right across the street from the hospital.

Take a Loved One to a Doctor Day

Hundreds of people attend this annual event where they can talk to more than 60 different groups and agencies, including representatives from many UMMS hospitals, which are offering free screenings and information on a variety of health topics, including:

Flu shots                      
Fitness demonstrations
Blood pressure           
Breast cancer          
Physical therapy
Smoking cessation
Vascular health         
Weight loss

Of course, Sparkles the clown is back this year too!

Sparkles the Clown

If you can’t make it to the park, you can listen on Magic 95.9 FM, which will be broadcasting live. You can even listen your computer at

Stop by early in the day to meet Huggy Lowdown and Chris Paul from the Tom Joyner Morning Show, the national sponsor of Take a Loved One to the Doctor Day, which this year features events all across the country to celebrate the campaign’s 10th anniversary.

At our event, host Tim Watts will be interviewing several UMMS experts on the radio. Here’s the schedule and approximate times:

Radio Interviews

10:30 a.m. 
Successful Aging
Dr. Karen Cousins Brown
Maryland General Hospital

12:30 p.m. 
Prostate Cancer
Dr. James Borin or Dr. Michael Naslund
University of Maryland Medical Center

1:30 p.m. 
Communicating with Your Health Care Provider
Dr. Eugene Egerton
Maryland General Hospital

2:30 p.m. 
David McAllister, RN
University of Maryland Medical Center

Five of the 12 hospitals in the University of Maryland Medical System are taking part in the event — the University of Maryland Medical Center, Maryland General Hospital, Kernan Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation Hospital, University Specialty Hospital and Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital. Other sponsors include Maryland Physicians Care and Radio One, Baltimore.

We hope to see you in the park for Take a Loved One to the Doctor Day!