•  Conversation Hearts: A Dentist’s Perspective

  • Oral Health - Pediatric DentistryHappy Valentine’s Day from your Novato dentist and staff!  Today’s the day to embrace your sweetheart, pass out Valentine’s to classmates, and for many, race to the store to scrounge up a last-minute bouquet of flowers.  Amid all the festivities, you’re bound to cross paths with a conversation heart or two, as well.

    Conversation hearts date back to 1866 when brothers Daniel and Oliver Chase partnered one’s candy wafer creation with the other’s dye press invention.  The result was the cute messaging hearts that we know today.  While the messages have changed over the years to keep up with the times and their size has diminished, conversation hearts are still as popular as ever.  These hearts are produced year-round, until it’s time to ship out the 100,000 pounds of sugary sweetness.

    At our Novato dentist office we know these candies are hard to resist.  In fact, it would be fun to see what messages we could come up with.  We suppose “BRUSH & FLOSS” and “LUV UR TEETH” aren’t the most snuggly heart messages, but they could serve as a reminder.

    Valentine’s Day, Candy, and Your Teeth

    The tradition of candies, card, and chocolates on Valentine’s Day is fun and heart-warming with a long history.  Perhaps not coincidentally, February is the month of National Children’s Oral Health Awareness.  After decades of children noshing on sweets in celebration this month, it is quite possible the need to remind kids about the importance of the oral health arose.

    Valentine treats are loaded with sugar and that sugar loves finding places to stick to.  Young teeth need extra attention this month to avoid cavities.  So, it’s okay to have a piece or two of candy, just remember to brush and floss after.

    Promoting Oral Health in Children

    It can be a chore some nights to wrestle your children into bed, let alone complete your bedtime routine.  In honor of National Children’s Oral Health Month, try a new tactic that elicits fun.  Children respond better to activities and chores when those tasks are enjoyable.

    Think back to when you learned your ABC’s.  A cute song, easy to remember, and not once did it seem like a chore to learn.  This can hold true for brushing and flossing.  Social Media today makes it ridiculously easy to search for a snappy ditty about brushing and flossing.  Videos and apps have also been created to encourage proper oral hygiene.  Take the stress out of your bedtime routine by incorporating fun.

    Sugar and Cavities

    Unfortunately, the candy heart giants will probably never put “EAT UR VEGGIES” or “C UR DENTIST,” but one can hope.  The best thing you can practice yourself, and teach your child, is to eat in moderation and make healthy choices.  Teaching the importance of brushing and flossing at a young age delivers a long-lasting message that children will carry with them through life.  Top a great oral hygiene routine off with regular visits to our Novato dentist and you’ll set you and your children up for success.

    So have a candy heart or two, but bring along a tooth brush so you don’t wind up with cavities.  Join our Facebook page and let us know what healthy messages you can come up with.  Maybe one day, we’ll see them in stores.