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Oral Health America Celebrates National School Lunch Week
Date:10/17/2007

CHICAGO, Oct. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Good oral health and good nutrition go hand-in-hand, and National School Lunch Week (October 15-19) is a great opportunity to ensure that children are eating healthy foods for lunch. Oral Health America, the nation's premier, independent oral health advocacy organization is joining children, parents, and schools nation-wide in celebrating efforts to promote healthy school lunches. Children who learn good eating habits are more likely to eat healthy foods as adults, contributing, in turn, to a lifetime of healthy teeth and smiles.

"What we eat affects how we feel, from head to toe," said Sue Dodd, RDH, Director of Programs for Oral Health America. "Healthy food contributes to good oral health, and good oral health means that children are able to eat, learn, play, grow, and thrive."

Oral Health America's Sue Dodd recommends the following:

-- Have lunch with your child at school. See for yourself what schools

are serving and what everyone is eating for lunch.

-- Encourage children to eat fruits and vegetables, dairy products, lean

meats and fish, and whole grains, and beans. These foods make

children feel good and stay healthy.

-- Limit sugary and sticky snacks, sodas, and juice, and starchy foods.

-- Offer water as a healthy drink choice, and especially at the end of a

meal to help rinse teeth and gums.

-- Support local produce and "farm-to-school" lunch programs.

-- Encourage sugar-free snacks and gums, especially those that contain

xylitol, a natural sugar substitute that is low in calories, and can

help prevent tooth decay.

"Don't forget to brush your child's teeth twice a day, and visit the dentist every six months," adds Dodd.

Tooth decay is the most common, chronic childhood disease -- more common than asthma and hay fever. Oral Health America supports dental services in schools through its Smiles Across America program, with funding from Ronald McDonald House Charities, Patterson Foundation, Cadbury Adams USA LLC, Aetna Dental, 3M-ESPE, Delta Dental of Minnesota, and Northeast Delta Dental Foundation. Dental sealant materials and fluoride varnish are generously provided to Oral Health America's National Sealant Alliance and Smiles Across America from DENTSPLY International, Pulpdent, 3M-ESPE, Harry J. Bosworth Company, Whip Mix Corporation, and Premier Dental Group.

Oral Health America is the nation's premier, independent advocacy organization dedicated to improving oral health for all Americans. Find out more at http://www.oralhealthamerica.org.


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SOURCE Oral Health America
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