February 3, 2019
February begins the "Book, Brush, Bed" program to help families find a routine while promoting proper dental care.

HUNTINGTON — In an effort to prevent tooth decay in children, the Cabell County Family Resource Network (Cabell County FRN) and its partner have provided some tips and resources this February during National Children’s Dental Health Month. “The Brush, Book, Bed” is a program of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), has a simple and clear message for parents and caregivers:

• Each night, help your children to brush their teeth.

• Read a favorite book, or two.

• Get to bed at a regular time each night.

In having a predictable nighttime routine, children can understand and learn to expect what comes next. Additionally, routines may ease the stress that some families experience at nighttime.

“Healthy dental habits include regularly brushing teeth, dental visits, and healthy eating practices,” said Gina Sharps, oral health coordinator at Marshall University Joan C. Edward School of Medicine.

“Children with healthy teeth live longer more productive lives and have higher self-esteem. The oral health of your child is important to ensure their school success, health and happiness. Children with poor oral health perform poorly in school, have difficulty concentrating, and often struggle with getting a job when they get older.”

Two years ago, in February 2017, The Cabell County FRN launched its Resources for Healthy Teeth Toolkit.

The information in the Toolkit is compiled to make it easy to access a variety of different materials to help parents and programs promote good oral health and help children have healthy teeth and smiles for life.

“Many times, parents and care givers aren’t sure where to go for resources,” said Debra Harris Bowyer, coordinator of Cabell County Family Resource Network.

“In West Virginia, 55 percent of children have CHIP and Medicaid. The WVCHIP Benefit Plan covers a full range of dental services; however, many don’t use their CHIP and Medicaid dental coverage.

During 2017, the percentage of eligible children receiving preventive dental services was only 0.2 percent for infants up to age 1, 11 percent for ages 1 to 2, and 50 percent for ages 3 to 5. Families can find out eligibility and more on the WVCHIP website, www.chip.wv.gov.

“The Cabell County FRN has compiled many different topics and website links to quality information like children’s activities, ideas and tools for teachers of preschool and school age children, how parents can find a dentist and many other items. By providing a guide to resource information and promoting it in the community, we hope to increase the knowledge of these resources and the utilization of dental services and help children be cavity free.”

The print and digital resource guide, available on www.cabellfrn.org, provides the following:

This project is done in collaboration with the DentaQuest Foundation and the Community and School Oral Health Team at Marshall University School of Medicine applauds the efforts of the Cabell County FRN as it works to empower families in our local communities. The Cabell County FRN recognizes that families cannot be healthy unless they have the proper knowledge and tools on how to care and maintain healthy teeth and mouths.

For more information and to download Brush, Book, Bed and Resources for Healthy Teeth Toolkit, visit www.cabellfrn.org.

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