First Smiles



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California WIC Local Agency Developed Lesson Plan –November 2006 First Smiles


First Smiles


Who






Pregnant women, parents and caregivers of young children 0 to 5 years old



Why







Caring for you own mouth and teeth before your baby is born is important even to your unborn baby. Dental problems can have an effect on your pregnancy. Untreated tooth and gum problems can be painful; but even more seriously, they can increase the risk of having a preterm, low birth weight baby.



Time

(When)






Setup

(Where)





Site classroom


Objectives

(What for)





By the end of this session, participants will have discussed:


  • Dental care during pregnancy (If you have prenatal participants)

  • How early childhood caries or cavities begin

  • How to prevent cavities









Lesson Overview

(What)








  1. Introduction


  1. Pregnancy –Caring for Teeth


  1. Early Childhood Caries


  1. Taking Care of Your Baby’s or Child’s Teeth


  1. Closing




Materials





Dental kits for participants:

  • Infants: wash cloth, kids toothpaste

  • 1-5 year old children: baby toothbrush or kids toothbrush, kids toothpaste with fluoride, timer, floss

  • Adults: toothbrush, adult toothpaste with fluoride, timer, floss

Soft Chalk


Vinegar
Cracker
Clear bowl
Brushing timer
Xylitol gum
Questionnaires in English and Spanish
Poster on “Healthy Smile Healthy Pregnancy” (English and Spanish)
“How Kids Get Cavities” Flyer
Handouts:

  • “First Smiles 1,2,3,4, 5 Healthy Teeth Begin at Birth”

  • Dentist Referrals from Lake County Public Health Dept.

  • “How to Prevent Baby Bottle Tooth Decay”

  • “One Tooth”

Photos of dental decay


Gum or mint samples with xylitol
Soda bottle and juice bottle with sugar
Baby bottle with water




Activities



1.


Welcome




Introduce yourself and invite participants to introduce themselves and tell the month of pregnancy and/or the ages of their children.
Today we are going to talk about:

  • dental care during pregnancy (If you have prenatal participants),

  • how early childhood caries or cavities begin, and

  • how to prevent cavities.”



2.


Pregnancy

-Caring for Teeth




What have you heard about dental care during pregnancy?”
Hear all responses and address their concerns as these are teachable moments.
Caring for you own mouth and teeth before your baby is born is important even to your unborn baby. Dental problems can have an effect on your pregnancy. Untreated tooth and gum problems can be painful; but even more seriously, they can increase the risk of having a preterm, low birth weight baby.”
We will discuss tips on keeping your mouth and teeth healthy.”
Discuss the points on “Healthy Smile, Healthy Pregnancy” poster. Ask for volunteers to read the following points or read them aloud together.

  • See your dentist for a check up early in your pregnancy.

  • Tell your dentist you are pregnant.

  • Get teeth and gum problems treated now. They may increase the risk of having a premature baby.

  • Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.

  • Floss at least once a day.

  • Chew gum with xylitol to prevent tooth decay. Look for xylitol listed as the first ingredient.

Which of these are important to you to do?”


Hear all responses and address their concerns.




Activities (continued)


2.


Pregnancy

-Caring for Teeth (continued)



Since tooth decay begins with bacteria in our mouths, chewing gums or eating mints with xylitol can help to reduce bacteria that cause tooth decay. Xylitol is a sweetener found in fruits and vegetables and used in sugar free products.”


Pass the gum sample and encourage participants to look for xylitol in the ingredient list. Point out the large word `xylitol’ located on the bottom of the pregnancy poster.
If you are pregnant, ask your dentist about using an antibacterial mouth rinse to prevent bacteria.”
What are your questions about taking care of your teeth before and during pregnancy?”
Hear all responses and address their concerns.
We have talked about how to care for your teeth during pregnancy. Let’s talk about children and how we can prevent early childhood caries. As you know baby teeth are important for many reasons. They are needed for eating, proper speech development and they hold space for permanent teeth and of course for smiling.”



3.


Early Childhood Caries






What have you seen or heard about early childhood caries, also known as baby bottle tooth decay in babies and children?”


Hear all responses and address their concerns.
Many young children have tooth decay. About 1 out of 3 children in preschool, 7 out of 10 children in kindergarten to 3rd grade experience tooth decay. Early childhood caries is an infectious disease that can happen in any family. These cavities can cause pain, infection and affect self-esteem. Sometimes children learn to live with pain, but it can affect concentration, sleep, health and well being. It is one of the main reasons for children to miss school.”
Pass the photos of the early childhood caries.
What are your thoughts as you look at these pictures?”




Activities (continued)


3.


Early Childhood Caries

(continued)



Hear all responses.


Let’s look at how dental decay begins. Watch this demonstration.
Conduct chalk and vinegar demonstration. Refer to the graphic design on back of pregnancy poster on How Kids get Cavities.
Plaque+ sugar= acid Acid +healthy tooth=cavity

Pretend this bowl is your baby’s mouth and this piece of chalk is a tooth. Early childhood caries begin with bacteria or germs in the mouth. We all have invisible germs in our mouths. They can spread from mother to child and child to child if we share toothbrushes, spoon or other things we put in our mouths. The germs feed on the food your child eats, like this cracker (crumble the cracker in the bowl), and make acid in the saliva like this acid. Watch what the acid does to the chalk. Other snacks like raisins, fruit roll ups, potato chips, candy and cereal may cause tooth decay.”


Pour the vinegar in the bowl and wait a few minutes for everyone to watch what happens.
What do you think is happening to the chalk (which represents a tooth)?”
Hear all responses.
The acid attack lasts for 20 minutes each time we eat or drink fermentable carbohydrates. Limit the number of times your child eats snacks or drink juice or soft drinks.”
Use soda bottles and juice bottles with sugar as visual aid.
Emphasize scheduling snack times to be taken at the table.



Activities (continued)



4.


Taking Care of Your Baby’s or Child’s Teeth




We can help prevent this damage by starting early to take care of a baby’s teeth, so it isn’t as easy for germs in the mouth to make acid and decay the teeth.”
Put your baby to bed with teddy bear, hugs or stories. To prevent tooth decay, put only water in the baby’s bottle at bedtime, never juice or milk.
Show visual aid of water in a baby bottle.
Fluoride can help prevent tooth decay and make the teeth stronger. Fluoridated water is good way to get fluoride, but some of us may not have fluoridated water. Using fluoride toothpaste will help.”
Distribute “Healthy Teeth Begin at Birth” brochure to all participants.
This pamphlet gives tips you can follow to help take care of your baby’s or child’s teeth”
Ask for volunteers to read sections of the pamphlet and discuss the points with the participants. Show the props as you discuss the points. (wash cloth for wiping gums, soft tooth brush, fluoride toothpaste, and xylitol gum (if you did not show the gum during the prenatal section)).
Which of these tips are new or most helpful to you?”
Hear all responses and provide encouragement.
What are your questions about caring for your baby’s or child’s teeth?”
Address all questions.
As soon as the first tooth appears, start brushing daily with a small pea-sized dab of fluoride toothpaste in the morning and before bedtime. Wipe off excess toothpaste until child can spit out. Help your child brush their teeth until they are 8 years old.”




Activities (continued)



4.

Taking Care of Your Baby’s or Child’s Teeth

(continued)




If your child has Medi-Cal, Healthy Families or Healthy Kids Insurance, they also have coverage for dental services. If you need help in finding a dentist, we have a list of dentists in the area that deal with children.”
If you like you may pick up other dental handouts: ‘One Tooth’ (explains how to brush the child’s teeth), ‘How to Prevent Baby Bottle Tooth Decay’ (shows baby bottle tooth decay pictures and suggestions on how you can put a baby to bed without a bottle), ‘Time for a Cup’ (tips on weaning) and the list of dentists.”




5.

Closing





Invite participant to look at the back section titled “Remember” of the “Healthy Teeth Begin at Birth” handout.




  • Adults can spread the germs that cause cavities. Do not put anything in your child’s mouth if it has been in your mouth.

  • Children should see a dentist by their first birthday.

  • Brush your teeth and your child’s teeth in the morning and right before bedtime with fluoride toothpaste.

  • A child needs an adult’s help in brushing their teeth until they are 8 years old.

  • Limit how often your child has juice, sweet drinks and snacks. Suggest schedule a snack time at the table.

What is one thing you heard today that you could begin to do to prevent early childhood caries? (or to take care of your own teeth if you are pregnant?)”








E-Center WIC Program Page


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