Childhood Obesity Health Risks

Childhood Obesity Health Risks | What Parents & Dental Teams Can Do Now!
Did you know that 1 in 3 kids in America are overweight or obese? Does that fact surprise or sadden you?  How is it acceptable to choose to feed kids a daily dose of emptiness from foods that will only fuel the growth of health deficient young adults? 
Information is available. Programs are available. Experts are available. Health is attainable. 
What are the health risks for childhood obesity? Let’s begin with emotional health. Low self esteem, depression, anxiety. Kids who are obese will likely be at a higher risk for bullying. 
Physical health risks are high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol levels and type 2 diabetes.
Oral / Dental health risks are increased tooth decay, tooth sensitivity, enamel erosion, gingivitis, dry mouth, ulcers, gum disease, loss of teeth
Why is there such a disconnect? Is it denial? What is the “why behind what you buy your kids to eat”? Why pursue the bargains of pizza, chicken nuggets, sugar cereals that serve little vitamins or minerals essential for oral health? What is the “why behind your buy?” Will it contribute to their health? Will it fuel their body & mind or deplete it? 
Tooth decay continues to be a childhood epidemic in America. Show me the cause of tooth decay and I’ll show you its connection to nutrition. 
As a dental hygienist, I can share with you the hours we are educated on nutrition. We must continue to inform ourselves to best serve you … our patients and your families. 
Let’s start with discussing the amount of sugar that is in juice boxes, energy drinks, soft drinks, sports drinks. How many times per day and how much is being ingested before it is time for bed? 
Stop being quiet about kids’ diet … period. It is time for dental teams to initiate and lead a discussion regarding obesity and dental health risks  during your health & wellness visit. Dental teams can work together with nutritionalists and/or holistic nutritionalists. Dental hygienists can recommend xylitol products that will help decrease tooth decay. Assessing your child’s oral current oral health begins with establishing them with a dentist. 
The risk for pursuing health is prevention. It will save you money, encourage your child’s self esteem, and nurture a life they will get to live fully. Isn’t that a risk … worth taking?
Anastasia
Take What You Learn & Make A Difference With It

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